Another Little Women Movie

Including the Little Women 2019 film, the classic novel now has six movie adaptations and twelve television adaptations. One may think, how many times can one story be told?

Greta Gerwig’s version simply shows the movie industry’s plan to profit off the nostalgia of its audience to disguise its lack of inventiveness! Why would Gerwig, the director who was able to poignantly capture the twister of emotions that comes with teenage girlhood in her film Lady Bird, settle for creating another remake? Well, as someone who has seen the movie twice and plans to see it many more, Gerwig’s Little Women is more than a remake, more than a holiday movie, and more than just a simple tale of domestic life. Just like Lady Bird, Gerwig made a film that represented me so accurately that it allowed me to experience the most beautiful pain.

“But… I am so lonely.” 

There is much to love about this film that contains very much love within it, but the purpose of this article is to focus on the quote said by the character Jo March, “Women, they have minds and souls, as well as just hearts. And they’ve got ambition and talent, and as well as just beauty, and I’m so sick of people saying that love is just all a woman is fit for. I’m so sick of it! But… I’m so lonely!” Although Saoirse Ronan (Jo March) never fails to brilliantly portray her characters, the warm tingles suddenly shooting up my spine while she delivered these lines made me certain that I was hearing something that would mean a lot to me.

A longing to be extraordinary 

I am a young woman living in the United States in 2020, not the 1860s. I haven’t had to prove to anyone that I have dreams I’m capable of obtaining that don’t revolve around marriage and children. Like Jo, I am independent, passionate, and dedicated to creating something memorable and impactful, but I, too, sometimes feel stuck in the loneliness that can come with it. I know I’m supposed to think that I am worth more than the love that any man can give me, but there is still a longing to be told, and proven to me, that I am extraordinary. Not only to be shown that I am great by my success but to know that my love is magnificent enough to be held by another. To have someone to want you to reside in their time, allowing you to leave the loneliness of your own. I usually laugh at these thoughts and call them outdated, I am a creator, I am modern, I am enough for myself, but women can know that they are fit for more than romantic love without feeling guilty for wanting it. Being loved and being independent doesn’t have to be contradictory. 

We are not one feeling

Women exist in more than one way and can have more than one dream. Having multiple dreams doesn’t make any of them unimportant or less meaningful. Not striving for romantic relationships doesn’t mean we’re going to live a depressing life of solitude that make our dreams seem futile. Admitting to loneliness and wanting to be loved doesn’t make us weak, shallow, and unambitious. To feel like a serious creator doesn’t mean that the entirety of our lives has to belong to our art. Women have been shamed throughout history for all of our dreams but acknowledging all of them reminds us that we are real and keeps us honest. In two hours and fifteen minutes, Gerwig shows her audience the vastness of women’s minds, the strength of our hearts and souls, the power of our ambition and talent, the realities of our loneliness, and the beauty that all of them express.

More than another adaptation

Much time has passed between Jo March’s time and my own, our experiences are different, our societies aren’t exactly the same, but what has traveled between us is the multitude of our wholehearted love and the aches that arise from not always being certain if we’re putting it in the right place. Little Women (2019) reminded me to care for those around me a little more, to celebrate every aspect of my youth while it can still be felt, the significance of my dreams, the intensity of loneliness that’s seemingly unshakable, and that I am grateful for all of it. This film is more than another adaptation, but its own entity that allows a new generation to have our feelings seen. No one will forget Jo March and no one will forget Gerwig’s Little Women.

Written By: Maya Dixon

The Outfits of Cherbourg

As I was getting dressed, I was thinking about where my style comes from. I knew it definitely has some influences and after looking at all of my favorite pieces, I realized that I dress like the women from the movies and television shows I watch.

When I find myself relating to a character I start to incorporate pieces of them in myself because even though their reality is fictitious, the emotions that their stories make me feel are real. Lately, my style has been largely influenced by the character Geneviève (Catherine Deneuve) from the movie The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, directed by Jacques Demy. I have never experienced heartbreak from my significant other getting drafted to go to war, but I know the feeling of seeing life as soft, bright, and clear only to have your expectations that you assumed were true be altered by unforeseen circumstances. I will not spoil the story of the movie in case you haven’t seen it, but I will mention my love for Geneviève’s clothes that I wish to make my own. 

1. Sweaters

Geneviève’s sweaters are what ties many of her simpler outfits together. Her cardigans matched with her bows create a dainty and charming look that I adore.

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

2. Coats  

I hope the weather finally gets colder in San Diego because I am ready to wear coats! Geneviève’s coats make her look elegant and pristine, a look that I strive to emulate.    

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

3. Color

Color is an important aspect of this film because the colors of the characters’ clothing often match the background colors, which can also show how the characters are feeling. I chose blue clothing for this collage because I think blue best captures the feeling of despair and loss that the movie is trying to convey. Colors are very important to me when I’m considering my style because bright colors remind me of the vibrancy of youth. Although as we get older we may see our lives less and less through the perspective of a technicolor lens, sometimes through bright colors we are reminded of the fun, hope, and liveliness we carried as children. 

Credit: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

I can watch movies repeatedly simply for the costumes.

Not everyone enjoys watching musicals, especially ones that involve the characters singing every single line, but I believe that The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a great movie to watch for those of you who admire when a significant amount of care is put into the details of costumes and cinematography. If you’re looking for a change in your style you should watch some of your favorite movies to see if any of the outfits represent you.

Written By: Maya Dixon

Movie Review: Netflix’s Tall Girl

Jodi is a 16-year-old who is 6 feet and 1 inch tall. As she is constantly critiqued, she learns to love who she is. Tall Girl is a hilarious movie for all.

This week on my movie blog I am focusing on a new Netflix original film: Tall Girl (2019).

I just recently watched this film with my roommates late on a Thursday night. If you like satirical romantic comedies and drama, this is a perfect movie for you. 

Tall Girl is a story based on the journey of a 16-year-old girl, Jodi (Ava Michelle). Jodi is 6 feet and 1 inch tall. She learns how to overcome her insecurities as she is constantly criticized by everyone around her for her height.

In the film Jodi meets Stig (Luke Eisner), who is a handsome Swedish foreign exchange student who is even taller than she is. He becomes her love interest, but she gets placed in a love triangle. Jodi’s sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter), who loves beauty pageants, as well as her two best friends  (Griffin Gluck, Anjelika Washington) help Jodi realize that she is more than what everyone portrays her to be. Director Nzingha Stewart and writer Sam Wolfson depict through this film that each person is beautiful in their own way regardless of any insecurities they may have.

“When you don’t fit in, stand tall.”

– Tall Girl

What I also thought was interesting about this film was its cinematography. I enjoyed how the camera angles reflected Jodi’s point of view from super high up aiming downward. It also showed other’s points of views as the camera was angled from below to look upward at her. It made the movie funnier and more relatable to the focus of the story, that Jodi was extremely tall. I thought that the film aspects and screenwriting was very well made.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding this film when it first came out. People made negative comments to Netflix saying that a tall, white girl is the least targeted when it comes to every day problems. However, I believe that this movie is meant to reach out to people of all color, race, and ethnicity. The main message of this film is that everyone is beautiful and should be happy with tho they are, despite other’s critiques. 

Rate: 7/10

This movie was hilariously dumb, but also deep and heartfelt. I rate this movie a 7/10. It’s not the first movie I would choose to watch, but it was entertaining. It was definitely something to laugh to, and I liked the message it was trying to make. It is more of a fun film to watch with family or friends. 

Written By: Alexandra Gex

Thoroughbreds (2017) – Film Review

A transitory game of chess within Thoroughbreds (2017): featuring a modern suburban slasher!

No Guts, No Glory

Thoroughbreds (2017) is a film directed by Cory Finley about two wealthy suburban ex-friends who have since fallen apart throughout the years they spent in high school. Here, Anya Taylor-Joy plays a by-the-books girl named Lily who lives with her mother and her filthy rich step-dad Mark. As with most instances of step-parentry, it seems our dear Lily has a bone to pick with the newest addition to their family. Mark can be described, if spoken truthfully, as a prestigious and pompous power-hogging pig. In laymen’s terms: Mark’s an asshole. A real big asshole. The “abusive to my mom but he gets away with it because he’s got money and supports us financially” kind of asshole. There’s no way to get around it; Lily just has to learn to tolerate him. That is, at least, until her old gal pal Amanda, played by Olivia Cooke, crawls back into her life and suggests an alternative. At first, Lily wants nothing more from Amanda than some extra cash for tutoring her for the SAT. But after opening up to one another over a bottle of Mark’s stolen wine, Lily discovers her childhood friend may have more uses than just that simple monetary gain. After all, what’s a little cash compared to justice by your own hand?

There’s nothing wrong with being a little unstable. 

This film’s got it all; good sound design, strong acting, intriguing and deep characters, anxiety-boosting conflict, and BBH’s (big, beautiful houses). It also includes a single (1) horse. Truthfully, the film should be called “Thoroughbred” since there’s only one horse, but I digress. I think this film is definitely worth your time. If I had to rate it, I’d give it around 4.5/5 stars. Although Thoroughbreds (2017) left me with some strange feelings afterwards, watching the personalities of Lily and Amanda develop and change throughout the films 90-minute run time was definitely worth the ride.

This next paragraph will include spoilers.

All Guts, and Some Spine Too

The rekindling of a friendship is not something done so easily when your childhood companion has recently executed a stallion. Yeah, you heard me PETA. Amanda killed her decrepit steed with her own bare hands. Of course, I am over-exaggerating a bit. You see, it wasn’t a killing out of malice, but instead was done out of mercy. Honeymooner, Amanda’s racehorse who she won many medals with in her younger years, had broken his leg and was reported to never be able to walk again. When Amanda hears of this, she sees it as a cruelty for the horse to live any longer, and discusses it with her mother to see what can be done. As Honeymooner has been a member of their family for a long time, just as long as Amanda has been alive, the mother let’s her emotions get the best of her and doesn’t allow for him to be put down by a veterinarian. This, of course, is seen by Amanda to be an illogical move from her mother, manifested from her birth-giver’s weak moral character. She then takes up the responsibility to put the horse down herself as this was, in her mind, the most logical thing to do.

While the execution involved failed euthanasia, flesh-stripping, bone-breaking, and spine-smashing, none of this seemed to bother Amanda much. You see, contrary to most sane humans, Amanda doesn’t feel emotion. She may get tired or hungry, but when it comes to joy or guilt or remorse, it just doesn’t come to her. It was easy for Amanda to kill Honeymooner, and she didn’t revel in it either. She just felt it was something that had to be done.

This unethical act unsurprisingly lands Amanda with an animal cruelty offense, but she continues her life while awaiting trial, although she feels her existence may not have much purpose. When this is all explained to Lily, she realizes that her friend is not necessarily insane but instead just exceptionally logical when it comes to solving conflicts. Amanda’s lack of pathos results in her thinking of every scenario as a math problem: whats the most effective possible outcome and how can I get there the fastest? She does not hesitate, she makes a choice and she follows it immediately.

The Master Plan

While rummaging through Mark’s wine cellar, Amanda proposes to Lily that she should just kill her step-father. In this scenario, Amanda sees Mark as the lame horse, not functioning effectively either as a father or as a good husband to Lily’s mother, and therefore feels justified in suggesting they kill him. Doubling down on her logic, Amanda states that it would benefit a large amount of people and have very low outcomes in terms of repercussions; plus, if planned correctly, they could avoid being caught altogether. Lily gets mad and kicks Amanda out of her house, disagreeing with the brash girls way of thinking and her “lame horses should be put down” ideals. As the film progresses, Lily comes around to the idea though, and proposes they talk to their local child-molesting drug-dealer and try to hire him to pull a hit on Mark. After the delinquent falls through, however, Lily returns to the house to find Mark is still alive and kicking. She decides she will have no more of this and takes manners into her own hands.

Making Your Mark

On a seemingly regular night sitting on the couch with Amanda, Lily asks her if she believes her life is worth living. Amanda is taken aback by this on accounts of her not having thought of it before. After turning it over in her head for a bit, she decides that it isn’t, and asks Lily why she asked such a question while taking a sip of her lemonade. “If you can’t feel happiness, if you don’t have a good future, is life even worth living?” It appears in this case that it is, as Amanda’s lack of goal or purpose allows her to be a signature component of Lily’s plan. Lily informed Amanda that she tried drugging her lemonade in order to knock her out, kill her stepdad with a knife, and frame it on her. Amanda is not offended however, and instead drinks all of her lemonade in order to knock herself out and help Lily continue with her plan. By taking control of the situation and catalyzing Lily’s plan, Amanda acts as a martyr in order for her friend to succeed in her goal to end Mark’s life. Lily goes through with it, framing (consenting) Amanda for the murder of her step-father and landing her in a mental hospital. Amanda again doesn’t mind this because she believes it’s the most logical thing to do. Her friend is miserable because of Mark and she herself has no life purpose, so she believes the best option is to be take the fall for it and let Lily come out victorious.

By the end of the film, it’s almost as if our two protagonists have shifted personas. Lily now walks around town like the queen she is, giving everybody cold stares and presenting very little emotion while being more stern and logical. Amanda, on the other hand, spends her jailbird days painting and crocheting with all the other locked up loonies in there. She doesn’t mind it though. She tells Lily in a letter that the staff there are very nice for the most part. She explains a recurring dream to Lily too, one where all the people in the world are rich and can’t take their heads out of the material things in the world. Time passes and everything rots away, only leaving the thoroughbred horses. They roam the planet with no worry of their value or goal in life but instead just enjoy being wild animals. In this sense, the girls are the thoroughbreds. They do what they please, they roam with no rules and they live with power in their hands. They aren’t afraid of what will be done to them, they know that if the world ever falls apart and all the filthy rich bastard rot in place, they will be there still. They’ll gallop over fields of grass and drink from clear rivers and clop over debilitated houses. In a way, they both used each other, but it was a mutual gain. Lily learned how to be cold and got rid of the person who hurt her family the most, while Amanda learned how to see beauty in the small and insignificant, and even learned how to smile without looking in a mirror. She might’ve ended up in confinement, but she doesn’t care so long as she had a reason to live for.

All in all, Thoroughbreds (2017) is definitely a film you shouldn’t miss. That is, if you can handle topics such as murder, patricide, drug use, and other not-so-innocent topics.

Written by: Fabrizio Ramirez