Little Women Social Reactions: Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh are Perfect in Greta Gerwig's Unique Adaptation

Early reactions on social media say Gerwig has delivered an inventive but faithful interpretation of the novel with brilliant performances from its stellar cast.

by | October 24, 2019 | Comments

Another adaptation of Little Women? Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel has been made into a number of movies, and most of them have been highly regarded — by critics, fans, and awards organizations alike. Greta Gerwig’s new version, which just received a standing ovation at a guild screening, is no different. Well, it is apparently different in that it’s a unique take on the material, mostly for the better, according to the first wave of critics’ social reactions to the movie. Still, we can expect the usual Oscar-worthy performances and a generally enjoyable adaptation.

Here’s what critics are saying about Little Women on social media:

Have we gotten another great adaptation?

It’s lovely.
Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies

It’s inventive and wonderful.
Sean Fennessey, The Ringer

Wonderful. A loving, meticulously-crafted adaptation that exceeded my expectations. Heartfelt, moving and a terrific showcase for its extremely talented cast and beloved source material.
Kara Warner, People Magazine

Little Women is charming just like the novel/prior versions…Rousing score. Timely as ever. Hard not to cheer.
Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter

Someone, please, invent a word stronger than “masterpiece” so I can amply describe Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. More-than-a-masterpiece? Masterpiece 2.0?
David Jenkins, Little White Lies

It rules.
David Sims, The Atlantic

Does it elicit particularly personal reactions?

Jo’s lines in Little Women resonate with me completely differently now as a 33 year old single writer. Wanting to remain independent but wanting to be loved. Greta’s take on the story made me connect with Jo in a way I never had. As a girl, I just thought she was crazy to reject Laurie.
– Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times

I’ve seen Little Women twice now and it’s one of my very favorite movies of the year.
– David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly

One of the most pleasurable cinema experiences of my life.
– David Jenkins, Little White Lies

Sony Pictures
(Photo by Sony Pictures)

How is this one different from past adaptations?

Greta Gerwig takes the straightforward story of Little Women and boldly scrambles it, starting two-thirds of the way through and retelling most of what you remember via flashbacks and cross-cutting. Call it Louisa May Alcott meets 21 Grams.
Kyle Buchanan, New York Times

Little Women has a very strong last third… and a modern interpretation of the novel that shines brightly. I liked her take on it even when it is hard to follow regarding flashbacks.
Sasha Stone, Awards Daily

Will fans of the book appreciate it?

Greta Gerwig delivers a both passionately faithful and gorgeously original take.
David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly

There’s nothing to disparage and many reasons to be pleased with Little Women. Especially, I’m thinking, for those who know the book and have a profound affection for this 19th Century saga about choices, tough terms, romance, heartbreak, love, struggle and artistic aspiration.
Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere

How is the ensemble cast?

Each role [is] perfectly cast.
Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter

Saoirse is a fierce Jo, Chalamet/Dern/Streep especially are great in support, and Florence Pugh is astonishing.
David Canfield, Entertainment Weekly

Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh are the standout performances.
Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist

Excellent performances from Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh.
Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere

Flo Pugh and Streep are standouts.
Sasha Stone, Awards Daily

For my money, the MVP in Little Women is Florence Pugh…She’s hilarious and winning as Amy, the character best served by Gerwig’s structural gambits.
Kyle Buchanan, New York Times

Florence gets a lot of great notes to play as Amy March and she plays each one pretty much perfectly. As we’re seeing over and over again, she has a screen presence and performing instincts that are pretty god damn incredible.
Jordan Crucchiola, Vulture

Sony Pictures
(Photo by Sony Pictures)

What about the men?

Timothee Chalamet is the best thing about Little Women. He lights up the screen in every scene he’s in.
Jazz Tangcay, Awards Daily

Best part of Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is the idea that Louis Garrel as a heartthrob will soon be implanted in mainstream American brains. As he should be.
Ryan Lattanzio, IndieWire

What about the contributions behind the camera?

Greta Gerwig, writer/director of the new version of Little Women [got] a standing ovation. And it was well deserved!
Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood

Fervent, top-notch direction by Greta Gerwig; superb lensing and set design.
– Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere

Are there any problems?

Little Women is charming if not a wee bit long…for such a pretty score it’s overscored? There are moments you just want to hear the girls banter but… nope.
Gregory Ellwood, The Playlist

At best, it’s a fresh approach that makes you rethink familiar material. But it can also make simple plot and character developments a bit harder to locate.
Kyle Buchanan, New York Times

I have to say that it didn’t quite grab me as I’d hoped. Flashbacks, curious dream sequences, confusing here and there. Handsome and lusciously authentic, but feels in-and-outish.
Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere

Sony Pictures
(Photo by Sony Pictures)

Is it an awards contender?

Best Picture nominee… maybe?
Gregory Ellwood, The Playlsit

The last three Best Picture winners end happily and portrayed the world as ultimately hopeful. Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is the first movie of the year that does just that. So… front runner?
Sean Fennessey, The Ringer

We’ll see as far as Oscars — nice to have an upbeat option. The 36-year-old actress turned auteur could become the first female two-time best director Oscar nominee.
Scott Feinberg, Hollywood Reporter

I’m not saying Jo March is Saoirse’s Oscar, but truly her only issue as an actress is that she’s so good & makes her roles look so effortless and genuine and complete that she might fall into the Amy Adams camp of being so simply good it’s like Academy voters take her for granted.
Jordan Crucchiola, Vulture

An award-season cherry.
Jeffrey Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere

Little Women is in theaters December 25.


Little Women (2019)

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author's alter ego, Jo March, reflects back... [More]
Directed By: Greta Gerwig

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