Female Filmmaker Spotlight: Greta Gerwig

by Elysian Magazine

It has been twenty-five years since the latest remake of the classic novel Little Women. What did the film need in 2019? A female filmmaker, a star-studded cast including Meryl Streep, and Timothee Chalamate’s perfect hair. The adaptation by filmmaker Greta Gerwig is already receiving Oscar buzz following the success of her first film, Ladybird.

Gerwig is only the fifth woman ever to be nominated for best director- and she was the only woman in the category in 2017. Little Women has been adapted into tons of projects, since its publication of more than 150 years ago. Most notably, the novel has been made into a couple of movies that have garnered tons of success. These films came out in 1933, 1949, and 1994 that starred Hollywood royalty such as Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, and Winona Ryder- to name a few. However, only one of those films was directed by a woman.

Now Gerwig has taken up the torch to direct the movie, making her the second woman to do so. Gerwig is no stranger to the film industry- she is an actor, producer, writer, and director. With her solo directorial debut of the dramedy film, Lady Bird Greta Gerwig has risen to prominence in the film industry. But before she was a famous director, Gerwig was writing and starring in plays in High School and College. As well as starring in indie films and projects while working odd jobs on the side. Gerwig didn’t go to school for filmmaking; instead, she took smaller roles to gain as much knowledge as possible about the industry. That’s one of the things that makes Gerwig stand out among the slew of Hollywood directors and writers.

For the Little Women remake, Gerwig cast a few actors that she worked with before and a few she hadn’t. From her previous film, Ladybird Gerwig chose Saorise Ronan as Jo and Timothee Chalamaet as Laurie. The rest of our favorite sisters include Emma Watson as Meg, Eliza Scanlen as Beth, and Florence Pugh as Amy. Rounding out the rest of the cast is Laura Dern as Marmee and Meryl Streep as Aunt March. What makes this film different than the other adaptations? The newest Little Women was filmed where Louisa May Alcott grew up – making the film authentic as possible. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Gerwig said this about the filming locations, “The physical place reminds you of the story you’re trying to tell.” Authenticity is just one of the things that makes Gerwig a powerhouse in the industry.

The atmosphere is changing in filmmaking, thanks to directors and writers like Greta Gerwig. She is one of the few female directors that are making movies this year. Only twelve films this year are being directed by women, which might seem low, but it is a record-breaking number, which will hopefully lead to more women getting behind the camera and bringing more inclusion to the industry. In celebration of the film start by catching up on the novel; Little Women hits theaters on Christmas Day.

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