'Little Women' Early Buzz: Greta Gerwig's Sophomore Effort Is Already Getting Oscar Buzz

Little Women has been positioned as an Oscar contender since its announcement — and with awards darling Greta Gerwig helming the adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott coming-of-age classic, and a star-studded cast led by Lady Bird's Saoirse Ronan, how could it not be? The fact that Sony was positioning it for a Christmas release, that sweet spot where awards season and the holidays overlap, could only mean that the studio is confident in Little Women's awards contender status. And judging by the Little Women early buzz from press and industry screenings this week, they were correct.

Right out of the gate, Greta Gerwig's solo sophomore effort is earning raves as a fresh adaptation of Alcott's 1868 novel and for its Oscar-worthy performances by Ronan and by the 2019 It Girl, Florence Pugh (Midsommar). Notably, Gerwig takes a different approach to Alcott's novel, breaking up the linear storyline to incorporate a flashback structure instead, told through the perspectives of the older and younger March sisters. It's a creative gamble that has never been done before with the countless adaptations of Little Women — the last being Gillian Armstrong's beloved 1994 film which itself landed three Oscar nominations — but one that apparently pays off tremendously.

Naturally, Oscar conversations began as soon as the credits rolled, with critics predicting Oscar nominations for Ronan, who plays the headstrong protagonist Jo March, as well as Pugh, who in particular is being lauded as the "MVP" of the film as the story's frequently least-loved sister, Amy March.

A few critics and industry insiders even predicted that Little Women could be this year's Best Picture front-runner, following in the footsteps of past "hopeful" winners like Moonlight, The Shape of Water, and Green Book.

The anticipation couldn't be higher for Little Women, which is shaping up to be one of the front-runners at this year's Academy Awards, at the very least in the acting categories for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Could Gerwig score a second Best Director nod immediately after her historic nod for Lady Bird? No one can say for sure, but we know for now that the chances aren't so little.

Little Women will open in theaters December 25, 2019.

Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author's alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig's take, the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on her own terms — is both timeless and timely. Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.