Friday, January 24, 2020

"Little Women" continues strong run at the box office

As Little Women enters its fifth weekend in theaters, box office returns are remaining steady. Against a budget of $40 million, the film currently sits at $88m domestically, with a worldwide total of about $133m. It's likely to surpass the $100 domestic total in the next couple of weeks if things continue at this rate.

This is a strong showing for a remake, considering it's also a female-centered film with no big special effects. If the film happens to come away with any Oscars (best possibility I think is Adapted Screenplay for director Greta Gerwig), marketing will be able to push that as another draw for viewers. Regardless, it's a triumph for Gerwig, the cast, and the crew, both critically and commercially.

The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 9.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Streep set to narrate animated short film for Apple TV+

Multiple sources are reporting today that Meryl will be producing and narrating an upcoming animated short film to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth will follow a young boy (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) who learns about the "wonders of the planet" from his parents (voiced by Ruth Negga and Chris O'Dowd).

The film is based on the New York Times bestseller by Oliver Jeffers. It is set for release to the platform Apple TV on April 17.

Monday, January 13, 2020

"Little Women" nominated for six Academy Awards

The nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards were announced this morning. Little Women came away with six:

Best Picture - Amy Pascal (producer)
Adapted Screenplay - Greta Gerwig
Actress in a Leading Role - Saoirse Ronan
Actress in a Supporting Role - Florence Pugh
Original Score - Alexandre Desplat
Costume Design - Jacqueline Durran

This is the second time in three years that Meryl has been in a film nominated for Best Picture (The Post). Super happy for Florence and Saoirse, as neither of their nominations seemed like sure things as of yesterday. The rest were pretty expected.

Some surprises: the biggest of course has to be the J Lo snub. She was trending top two or three in predictions for her supporting role in Hustlers. Gotta think Kathy Bates snuck in over her. Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce both made it in for Best Actor as well. I was a little surprised at Cynthia Erivo cracking the top five in Best Actress for Harriet, but thank god they got at least one person of color in the acting categories. I wished we could've seen Awkwafina make it in...I really liked The Farewell. 

The Oscar ceremony will be held on Sunday, February 9.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

"Little Women" scores five BAFTA nominations

I am woefully late on this. After the Globes on Sunday (sad Meryl didn't win but love Patricia Arquette), I totally forgot that the BAFTA nominations were coming out this week! I wasn't expecting Meryl to be nominated individually for anything, but it was nice to see Little Women earn five nominations:

Leading Actress - Saoirse Ronan
Supporting Actress - Florence Pugh
Adapted Screenplay - Greta Gerwig
Original Score - Alexandre Desplat
Costume Design - Jacqueline Durran

BAFTA was probably going to be the easiest of the "Big Four" for Ronan and Pugh to get, but it bodes well for their Oscar chances when nominations are announced Monday morning!

The BAFTA Awards ceremony takes place Sunday, February 2.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

2020 Golden Globe predictions

Awards season is officially upon us! Tomorrow night the Golden Globes will premiere, and Meryl is up for Supporting Actress in a Television Series for her work in season two of Big Little Lies. While I think she stands a decent chance at taking home the hardware, I'm not predicting her. Below are some of my predictions for winners is various categories. The full list of nominees can be found here.

Best Motion Picture - Drama--The Irishman

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy--Once Upon a Hollywood

Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama--Renée Zellweger

Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama--Adam Driver

Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy--Awkwafina

Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy--Eddie Murphy

Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture--Laura Dern

Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture--Brad Pitt

Best Actress - Limited Series or TV Movie--Michelle Williams

Best Actor - Limited Series or TV Movie--Sam Rockwell

Best TV Series - Drama--Succession

Best Actress - TV Drama--Olivia Colman

Best Actor - TV Drama--Billy Porter

Best Supporting Actress - TV--Helena Bonham Carter

Best Supporting Actor- TV--Andrew Scott

Monday, December 30, 2019

Film review: "Little Women" (2019)

After all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas holidays, I was able to catch a matinee screening of Little Women yesterday. I'm familiar with the story and had seen the 1994 version. Of course I've been keeping up on what critics were saying leading up to its release, so I knew going in it probably wasn't going to be a big pile of crap. That can also be problematic, as it opens the possibility of expectations being too high and ultimately being left disappointed. I definitely was not.

We all pretty much know the story to Louisa May Alcott's beloved book by this point: the four March sisters come of age in post-Civil War Massachusetts. In director Greta Gerwig's new adaptation, the cast is led by Saoirse Ronan as the formidable protagonist, Jo. She is joined by Emma Watson (Meg), Eliza Scanlen (Beth), and Florence Pugh (Amy). Unlike in other adaptations, Gerwig (who also wrote the screenplay) weaves scenes from present and past to show the ladies' journeys, motivations, and relationships. I've seen a couple reviews describe the going back and forth as disjointed, but I completely disagree. This is of course a credit to Gerwig, as I found the scenes flowed very seamlessly between character and settings.

The performances were absolutely outstanding. Ronan certainly stands out, but Pugh was probably my favorite among the sisters. She had the biggest transformation to make from young to older Amy, and she did a great job showing that growth in the spunky character. Timothée Chalamet was delightful as Laurie, and did a great job particularly with Ronan in the pair's sort of buddy-to-love interest dynamic. Meryl was a gem as usual, and while not a large role, Aunt March always stood out in her scenes. She cracked me up with her cantankerous machinations. Chris Cooper had a few touching moments as Laurie's grandfather as well.

The cinematography and set designs were spectacular. I commented after the movie at how beautiful every single shot was, from intimate interior scenes to grand landscape views of New England's gorgeous foliage in autumn. But the best part about the movie was probably how Gerwig managed to make it seem so contemporary. She had such a nuanced approach at showing how the women in the film lacked their own agency to follow the lives they wished--how utterly dependent they had to be on men to sustain themselves, and how marriage was just as much an economic proposition as it was one of love. I think I posted the below video before, but it's worth showing again, as it sums up what I'm attempting to describe. It's also in the movie because Gerwig got the idea for it from Meryl.


Little Women is in theaters nationwide. Go see it!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

"Little Women" opens to big box office in first weekend

According to Box Office Mojo Little Women has greatly exceeded Sony's five-day opening expectations. Hauling $29 million against a $40 million budget, the studio was anticipating a meager $16-17 million over the time period. The film was released in the U.K. this weekend as well, with several additional international markets joining in January.

Great to see the film surpassing expectations this early. That, coupled with it's overwhelmingly positive critical response, may bode well for its chances at getting some love when both BAFTA and Oscar nominations are announced in the next two weeks.

I actually just got back from seeing the movie, so I'll be posting review within a day or two when I have more time. Suffice it to say, it was an absolutely exquisite film.