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Trivia / Little Women (2019)

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  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Amy's speech about marriage was not in the initial script, but was suggested by Meryl Streep. After working and talking with Greta Gerwig, Streep asserted that there needed to be a moment in the film that gave modern audiences the opportunity to understand the true powerlessness of women in that period; not only could they not vote or work, but through marriage they would lose ownership of their money, property, and children. The speech was written shortly before shooting the scene.
    • It was Florence Pugh’s idea for Amy to wear her fairy costume when she burns Jo’s manuscript.
  • All-Star Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper and Meryl Streep.
  • Billing Displacement:
  • California Doubling: Averted for the most part, as the film was primarily filmed in and around Boston (where Little Women is set), but the Paris scenes were also filmed in Boston (the Arc-de-Triomphe seen in the background of the first Paris scene is pretty obviously CGI).
  • Dawson Casting: Well, all the actresses in their twenties are also playing the characters across seven years. Most egregiously in the case of Florence Pugh, who plays Amy from the age of thirteen to twenty (the previous 1994 film cast two actresses to play the character as a child and adult).
  • Fake American: Irish Saoirse Ronannote  as Jo; Brits Emma Watson, Florence Pugh and James Norton as Meg, Amy and John Brooke; and Australian Eliza Scanlen as Beth.
  • Fandom Nod: There is one to the generations of fans who wondered why Jo didn't get with Laurie.
    Gerwig: Then I was able to do things like have the publisher say things like, "Frankly, I don't understand why she didn't marry the neighbor." Because I know that everyone for all time has asked that question and because of the way I structured that film was able to actually have someone say that.
  • Method Acting:
    • As with Lady Bird, which was set in the early 2000s before the smartphone boom, Greta Gerwig prohibited the use of them on set.
    • Florence Pugh told Saoirse Ronan to go ahead and slap her when Amy and Jo fight after the burned manuscript.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Mildly for Emma Watson. Best known for being slightly tomboyish and Not Like Other Girls heroines (as in closer to Jo), she plays the more traditionally feminine sister Meg.
    • Bob Odenkirk is most famous for playing the sleazy Saul Goodman, but here acts as the kind, selfless family patriarch.
  • Playing with Character Type: Chris Cooper often plays Jerkasses or intimidating characters. Here he plays Mr. Laurence, who initially appears to be a stern old man but is revealed to actually be very kind.
  • Production Posse: Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, and Tracy Letts previously starred in Gerwig's Lady Bird.
  • Saved from Development Hell: A new film adaptation of the book entered development in 2013, and Sarah Polley was reportedly hired to write and direct in 2015, but nothing came of it. Greta Gerwig was then hired to write a screenplay in 2016, and eventually became its director after the success of Lady Bird.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: No trouble at all believing Saoirse Ronan playing the daughter of Laura Dern.
  • Star-Making Role:
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Greta Gerwig was unsure about casting Saoirse Ronan again, having just directed her in Lady Bird. But Saoirse had written to her and told her she was going to be Jo. Realising that casting herself was a very Jo attitude to things, she was signed on.
    • Emma Stone was originally cast as Meg, but filming conflicted with the press tour of The Favourite, so she was recast with Emma Watson.
  • Word of Gay: Saoirse Ronan has stated that Jo's sexuality is ambiguous and not necessarily straight.