I used the last day of my winter break to see Little Women. I hadn’t read the book, and if you’d asked me yesterday what it was about, I’d have waved my hands vaguely and mumbled “Period drama? About girls growing up?”, which wouldn’t have sounded interesting at all, but you know, I see all kinds of crap because we have one theater in town and the selection is limited, so I’d go see it anyway. Jeez, but I was clueless. It’s a fantastically thoughtful film about women who are all different and have different aspirations and have to navigate oppressive social structures and often compromise their goals…but can still sometimes find happiness. Or not. I honestly thought at the beginning that I was going to have trouble keeping track of all these women, who was who and who was trying to do what — I am infused with patriarchal bias myself — and figured it was going to be Sex and the City in rural Massachusetts in the 1860s. It is so much better than that, and the acting was phenomenal, and Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth all stood out as real and important people.
Go see it if you can.
I am now in the unusual situation of having seen three excellent movies in the last month. Little Women, obviously, and The Lighthouse (a story of a descent into madness that didn’t rely on jump scares and gore), and Parasite, about class warfare and artificial dichotomies and opportunities between the rich and the poor. There hasn’t been a single superhero in tights in the bunch, and I’ve been really, deeply enjoying my outings. Superheroes have an appropriate niche, of course, and I’ll almost certainly go see any that show up in my town, but it turns out that movies that illustrate real issues and don’t resolve everything with punching and explosions are much more satisfying. It seems I need more fiber in my cinematic diet, with only occasional bites of flamboyant desserts.
(Oh, wait, I just remembered — I also saw Jo Jo Rabbit, another terrific movie. I am overwhelmed with great films lately!)