‘Little Women’ Director Gillian Armstrong Praises Greta Gerwig’s New Version, Pulls for #GretaForOscar

Greta Gerwig’s sophomore solo directorial outing, a new take on the beloved Louisa May Alcott novel “Little Women,” has already pulled in plenty of fans (including this critic) in advance of its Christmas Day release. The film currently boasts a 97% Fresh rating over on Rotten Tomatoes, and with a month to go until its theatrical release, anticipation over its awards season chances is at a fever pitch. But what of the other lauded adaptation of the Alcott novel, Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 take on the classic tale?

Armstrong’s version, often credited as the modern definitive take on Alcott’s work (which has spawned over a dozen film and television takes over the years), boasted an all-star cast (Winona Ryder! Susan Sarandon! Christian Bale!) and was nominated for three Oscars. While Rotten Tomatoes was not around during that film’s release, the review aggregator long ago compiled enough past reviews to crown it with a stellar 92% Fresh rating. For fans of that film, the necessity of Gerwig’s version might have been in question.

Let Armstrong herself put those worries to rest. On Tuesday, the Aussie director shared her affection for Gerwig’s version on Twitter, initially admitting she had to “pluck up courage” to check out the film. The result, however, is wonderful: she loved it. Armstrong writes that she “loved it. Very different! Brave new structure. Fantastic cast.” In Armstrong’s eyes, Gerwig’s film is “LW for this generation.”

Armstrong also angled to start her own hashtag to drum up Oscar season support for Gerwig, care of a simple “#gretaforoscar.” Gerwig was previously nominated for both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for 2017’s “Lady Bird.” In a followup tweet, Armstrong added that “in this so far very male lineup for Oscars she has to [be] a contender.”

Armstrong isn’t the only talent involved with the 1994 version that has embraced Gerwig’s film: her own screenwriter, filmmaker Robin Swicord, produced both films.

IndieWire’s A- review of Gerwig’s film calls back to Armstrong’s adaptation, promising that fans of that film “shouldn’t fret over the contemporary implications of Gerwig’s film. While it’s consumed with questions of ambition, economics, and a woman’s place in the world, ‘Little Women’ is clearly the work of someone steeped in affection for the original, and keenly aware of how the concerns of Alcott and the March sisters (loosely based on the author’s own family) have never quite abated, no matter the time.”

Check out Armstrong’s tweets below.

Sony will release “Little Women” in theaters on Wednesday, December 25.

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