An Old Soul In A Young Body: Why Timothée Chalamet Is A “Once In A Generation Talent” – Interview

Read on: Deadline.

Timothée Chalamet had a meteoric rise last year, co-starring in two of last season’s most buzzed-about awards movies— Hostiles & Lady Bird—and landing an Oscar nomination for his lead in a third, Call Me by Your Name. But when he …

New Regency Co-Finances Two Sony Films: ‘Little Women’ & ‘Girl In The Spider’s Web’

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: In what amounts to a re-teaming of Sony Pictures chief Tom Rothman and Arnon Milchan, New Regency has become co-financier of two upcoming Sony films: The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the Fede Alvarez-directed thriller that stars The Crown&#8216…

‘Night School’ Collects $1.35M In Thursday Night Tuition

Read on: Deadline.

Universal’s Night School threw its doors open for session last night, ringing up $1.35 million at 2,500 theaters with showtimes that began at 7 PM.
With a projected opening weekend of $30M at 3,010 theaters, the Tiffany Haddish-Kevin Hart PG-13 m…

‘Little Women’ Film Review: Contemporary Take on Literary Classic Feels More Old-Fashioned Than the Original

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Clare Niederpruem’s adaptation of “Little Women” is billed as “the first-ever modern cinematic retelling of the classic story.” (Apparently they’re not counting the 2012 TV movie “The March Sisters at Christmas.”) This sounds like a promising approach; Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel was published 150 years ago, yet it remains as relevant as ever.

Alcott’s books grappled with the place of girls and women (and also boys and men) in the world, so there will always be room for thoughtful adaptations of her work. Indeed, this year brought a well-received miniseries to PBS, and Greta Gerwig is currently working on an interpretation starring Saoirse Ronan and Meryl Streep. Plus, of course, parents still show kids their own favorite versions, from 1933, 1949 and 1994.

But these efforts reflected a crucial understanding missing from Niederpruem’s feature debut: that we are all Jo (or Meg, or Beth, or Amy, or Laurie). The girls in this contemporary retelling — which was produced by the faith-based company Pinnacle Peak — are not messy and complex human beings but Hallmark Channel characters, two-dimensional symbols of virtuous nostalgia.

Also Read: Emma Watson Squeezes Into Cast of Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ Adaptation

The film jumps back and forth in time in confusing fashion, with the characters primarily embodied at different ages by the same actors. Sarah Davenport (“Stitchers”) is thus required to portray both teenage Jo and adult Jo. Unfortunately, both are played in the same wide-eyed manner, which renders her too visibly mature as a young teen and too emotionally naive as a grownup.

Davenport has also been directed to deliver every line of dialogue as a declaration of intent. This would be distracting under any circumstances, but it’s certainly not helped by the lines themselves: “I, Jo March,” she grandly decrees, “will be a very successful writer, and will do all the things.” One of these things, as it turns out, is to help poor Beth (Allie Jennings) when she gets sick. “Web MD scared the crap out of me,” Jo announces to their mother, Marmee (Lea Thompson), when she arrives at the hospital.

Also Read: Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson Reunite in ‘Back to the Future’ Cast Photo

Moreover, Jo’s subversive rebellion — and all the girls’ moral struggles — are sanded down to anodyne blandness. When maternal Meg (Melanie Stone) breaks out of her homeschooled shell for a drunken prom party, she learns her lesson immediately, the camera mercilessly glaring at her cartoonishly vulgar makeup. There are no lessons learned from conflicting with Aunt March (Barta Heiner), because she’s become a smiley eccentric spending her retirement on cruise ships. Laurie (Lucas Grabeel, “High School Musical”) is as unthreatening a childhood crush as one could ask for. Beth, with her puppy-dog expressions and passive personality, is on a path to martyrdom from the start.

Alcott addressed issues of poverty in a way that remains utterly essential today but is similarly scrubbed from this enviably set-designed March home. The repetitious Christmas scenes in the cozy living room are shot with particular care and serve as the movie’s centerpieces. But in their enviable, Pinterest-worthy décor, they’re hardly reflective of the austere and ennobling spiritual experience readers may remember.

Watch Video: Lea Thompson on Hollywood Sexual Harassment: ‘It Was Like Kryptonite’

However, as Marmee might note, we can always find a silver lining. Stone and Grabeel are standouts, their low-key presence serving as necessary correctives to the unceasing energy of a frenetic Jo. Thompson also brings some welcome warmth to the household, calmly centering so much unfocused activity. And co-writers Niederpruem and Kristi Shimek take a noticeably careful approach to the issue of the suitors, an aspect of the book that has always been a sore spot for many.

The staid and disappointing Professor Bhaer has been aged down into a handsome teacher called Freddy (Ian Bohen, “Yellowstone”), who works with Jo when she’s in her late twenties. And though young Amy (Elise Jones) always has a crush on Laurie, nothing comes of it until she’s played by the adult Taylor Murphy. There’s also some poignancy to seeing Papa (Bart Johnson, another “High School Musical” alum) Skyping in his fatigues, war being yet another timeless theme of Alcott’s.

Most of those themes, though, go unaddressed. It’s no crime to update classics, as fans of “Clueless” (or Jane Austen) and “10 Things I Hate About You” (or Shakespeare) can attest. But without a genuine respect for the author’s intent, the era is irrelevant. This version seems to have been made not to honor Alcott’s little women but instead to please the parents who want blandly wholesome family entertainment for their own. One can only imagine what Jo herself would have to say on the subject.

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‘Night School’ To Turn The Lights On For Comedy With $30M+ As September B.O. Heads For Second-Best Ever Record Of $621M

Read on: Deadline.

While yucks haven’t translated into bucks at the box office for quite some time, the comedy genre is expected to come alive this weekend with Universal’s PG-13 rated Malcolm D. Lee-directed feature Night School which is set to ace a $30M-pl…

‘Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk Joins Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ Remake

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk is set for Sony Pictures’ Little Women, the remake which is being written and directed by Greta Gerwig. The previously announced cast includes Meryl Streep, Timothee Ch…

Emma Watson Squeezes Into Cast of Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’ Adaptation

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott classic “Little Woman” has found a different Emma.

Emma Watson is joining the Sony project in a role that was initial intended for Emma Stone, after Stone was unable to board the project due to scheduling conflicts.

Watson, who starred in Disney’s 2017 live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast,” one of the year’s highest-grossing films, joins a loaded cast that includes “Lady Bird” stars Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet, as well as Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, Florence Pugh and James Norton.

Also Read: Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet in Talks to Reteam for Greta Gerwig’s ‘Little Women’

“Little Women” follows teenage sisters Amy, Jo, Beth and Meg and their mother Marmee during Civil War-era Massachusetts and details the sisters’ passage from childhood to womanhood as they navigate their new town, true love, and their first holiday without their pastor father.

It’s not clear who will be playing what role yet.

Gerwig, who was nominated for best director and best original screenplay for last year’s “Lady Bird,” was initially brought on board to rewrite the script for the project, which has been in development a while at the studio. She will now also direct the film.

“Little Women” was last adapted to the screen in 1994 in an Oscar-nominated Gillian Armstrong film starring Winona Ryder, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon and Christian Bale.

Also Read: Emma Watson Sports ‘Time’s Up’ Tattoo After the Oscars (Photo)

Amy Pascal is producing, along with Denise Di Novi and Robin Swicord. Andrea Giannetti will oversee the production for Columbia Pictures.

Watson is managed by Untitled Entertainment and repped by CAA.

Variety first reported the news.

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Sony Moves Tarantino’s Manson Pic, Dates ‘Zombieland 2’ & ‘Little Women’

Read on: Deadline.

Sony has announced a slew of release dates and moves including shifting Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood back by two weeks to August 9, 2019. The studio also set the newly greenlighted Zombieland 2 for October 11, 2019, and will …