Thursday, December 26, 2019

Women At Last --- Day 8/262

Walk: AMC Kabuki (Little Women)
Distance:  4 miles, Yoga

11:00 a.m.

So, today Ciwt will (force) march herself to Little Women, the movie.  It's a work she's been avoiding since her childhood and Little Women was a book.  Just the title still sets her teeth on edge.  She did not and does not identify with being a 'little woman."

Happily she just read that Louisa May Alcott, the author, didn't identify either and didn't like either Little Women, its sequels or any of the characters particularly.  It seems she (who was already publishing suspense stories - her favorite! - under the name A.M. Bernard) was more or less blackmailed into writing light juvenile fiction.  Her editor agreed to publish a book by Louisa May's father, the radical teacher and reformer, Branson Alcott, on the (tacit) condition that she write a novel about girls.

Alcott did so, was bored to tears and the rest (including two more: Little Men and Jo's Boys) is literary history. One note in Alcott's journal pretty much sums up her girls' books years: “Mr. N wants a girls’ story, and I begin ‘Little Women.’ … I plod away, though I don’t enjoy this sort of thing. Never liked girls or knew many, except my sisters; but our queer plays and experiences may prove interesting, though I doubt it.”  

After writing and being set economically free by them, Alcott returned to her true passion "blood and thunder tales."  And of writing those she wrote: "Enjoyed doing it, having tired of providing moral pap for the young."

Knowing these things about Alcott's relationship to Little Women should help keep Ciwt from running out of the theater in a few hours.  Maybe....  Please stay tuned to see if she stayed and what she thought.

2:50 p.m.

Well.....Enchanting. Personally and predictably Ciwt was pretty much disengaged throughout. But the enchantment factor became her way of staying, like she she does when she (very rarely!) finds herself at a Renaissance music recital.  (The sound track is harp music from beginning to end).

Judging from the audience at Ciwt's showing, Little Women is much better - perhaps perfect -for those who have read  and love Little Women - or those who had sisters growing up or maybe those who are still growing up and can relate to Alcott/Gerwig's portrayal of adolescence and early womanhood.  Or just those who buy Gerwig's sweetly scattered, ever-so-slight, Me Too touch on Alcott's ever-so-light girlie story.

The cast though is superb, especially Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet and Meryl Streep of course, but really everybody.  That said, Ciwt felt a bit like one of those teenagers forced to come of age when she watched Bob Odenkirk on the screen.  She's been re-bingeing on Breaking Bad this holiday season and is not ready for him to be anyone other than Saul.  Also, Ciwt's Christmas Day movie was Marriage Story on Netflix.  Laura Dern is a major character in it, so when Ciwt saw her the very next day as a major character in Little Women, it triggered her creeping sense that Dern is being overdone these days.  Always excellent, but maybe seen too often.

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