In the opening scene of “Little Women” (2019), when we see Saoirse Ronan’s character entering a publisher’s office to try to sell her work and get herself taken seriously as a writer, we’re not just seeing the character of Jo March. We’re also seeing Louisa May Alcott, who wrote the novel that the film is adapted from, and perhaps even the film’s writer and director Greta Gerwig herself.
2019 was an eventful year for me, I grew so much as a person and found an outlet to express my writing and thoughts about film as a whole. This isn’t a definitive list by any means but a list of the films that have had the biggest impact on me personally. I have a lot to say about some of these so let’s get started, shall we?
It’s not an easy task to adapt one of the most famous American novels of all time for the screen. Not only has Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” been beloved since it was first published in 1868, it has also had several well-regarded film adaptations before, starring actresses like Katharine Hepburn and Winona Ryder. And yet, if anyone was going to take on this mammoth task, Greta Gerwig seems like the perfect person. Gerwig broke onto the directing scene in 2017 with her first film, “Lady Bird,” a coming-of-age story starring Saoirse Ronan. She returns this year with one of the most iconic female coming-of-age stories of all time, “Little Women,” refreshed and updated for a modern audience without losing any of the spirit of the book -- and once again starring Saoirse Ronan.
The titular character of Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age classic, “Lady Bird” (2017) is equal parts pretentious and endearing. Lady Bird – as stated above, a name given to herself by herself – navigates her senior year of high school and the many relationships encompassed within it. The premise of the film is simple. A coming-of-age story. But what is extraordinary is how it taps into the humanness of growing up. “Lady Bird” for me is what “Boyhood” (2014) did for my brother. It held up a mirror to my most vulnerable truths, and actually made me feel okay about that. Lady Bird, portrayed so earnestly by Saoirse Ronan, is dramatic. “Come here often?” she asks her crush in the grocery store as if they are gender-bending roles in an old Western. She calls herself from the wrong side of the tracks when there are literal railroad tracks to get to her house.