little women first look

Christmas has come early for fans of Louisa May Alcott‘s classic coming-of-age novel that has spawned countless screen adaptations and legions of lifelong fans. But no matter how many times the story of four sisters growing up in post-Civil War America is told, Little Women will always feel undeniably fresh. Even more so with Greta Gerwig‘s upcoming adaptation, which features Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet leading a stacked cast of rising talents and award-winning stars. As if the cast — and the prospect of a Lady Bird reunion — couldn’t get us excited enough, the debut of the first Little Women images look spectacular.

Little Women First Look

Vanity Fair debuted the first images from Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated Little Women adaptation, showing Ronan and Timothée Chalamet as Jo March and Theodore “Laurie” Laurence, respectively, as well as the remaining March sisters played by Sharp Objects breakout Eliza Scanlan (Beth), Emma Watson (Meg), and Midsommar‘s Florence Pugh (Amy). Laura Dern also makes an appearance as the March matriarch looking rather glum, likely at the prospect of the March sisters’ father (Bob Odenkirk) being kept away at war. The supporting cast also includes Meryl Streep as the rich Aunt March.

The first image features Ronan and Chalamet as Jo and Laurie, two childhood friends whose close relationship is the central thread to the story. They will be stepping into the roles last played by Winona Ryder and Christian Bale, who famously broke viewers’ hearts in the 1994 Little Women. But based on this image, which shows Ronan and Chalamet looking ridiculously good while both wearing coats and ties, the new Little Women could exceed even the love for the ’90s film. That androgynous costuming touch was intentional on Gerwig’s part — she explains to Vanity Fair that costume designer Jacqueline Durran made the pair swap clothes throughout the film — and a new modern reading of Jo and Laurie’s frequently debated relationship. “Jo is a girl with a boy’s name, Laurie is a boy with a girl’s name,” Gerwig told Vanity Fair. “In some ways they are each other’s twins.”

She explained, “They find each other before they’ve committed to a gender. It wouldn’t be wrong to call Saoirse handsome and Timothée beautiful. Both have a slightly androgynous quality that makes them perfect for these characters.”

It’s this kind of interpretation that makes Gerwig’s new take on Little Women so exciting, even if the casting of Emma Watson as Meg and Florench Pugh as an older Amy give me pause. Watson looks great in these images, but her acting in recent roles have left much to be desired, while Pugh’s casting potentially speeds up the arc of an already divisive character. But qualms aside, these images look fantastic and have left me nothing else but rapturous.

Little Women will open in theaters December 25, 2019.

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