On Friday, The New York Times published a piece that insisted the reason the new film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel “Little Women” has not garnered huge numbers of nominations for film awards is simple: those sexist males who populate the United States are disinterested.
In the piece, huffily titled. “Men Are Dismissing ‘Little Women.’ What a Surprise,” writer Kristy Eldredge claims the film, which stars “an A-list cast (including Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep),” has been “lauded by critics” but “noticeably underrepresented during awards season.”
Eldredge grudgingly admits that the film placed third, behind the new “Star Wars” and the latest “Jumanji,” on opening day, but then quoted New York Times critic Janet Maslin had recently tweeted of the “active hostility about ‘Little Women’ from men I know, love and respect.”
Eldredge seems confused; she writes, “In 2019, this attitude seems like history repeating itself.” But she admits that when the book was released in 1868, “it was an instant success — it was favorably reviewed by many of the top magazines and has never gone out of print.”
She continues with an attempt to make sense of her preceding remarks: “ …but that made it an outlier. At that time American women’s novels were not most critics’ idea of ‘serious’ writing. “
After noting “Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ could barely keep up with demand after its 1852 publication, Eldredge claims, “But that widespread appeal was used to slight the genre out of hand and further relegate it to the status of mere entertainment.”
After lauding “how inventive Ms. Gerwig’s adaptation — which takes many interesting creative liberties, such as ditching the linear narrative — is,” Eldredge admits that Maslin later reversed her belief that men were so disinterested, writing, “Men are loving it. Even ones who said they wouldn’t go.”
Eldrdege concludes, “Yet that this concern even existed to begin with is disheartening. If many men haven’t wanted to give it a chance because they don’t think it’s meant for them, we still have a way to go in considering all kinds of narratives about women to be deserving of thoughtful attention.”
It is possible, of course, that there are multiple reasons for the paucity of award nominations that “Little Women” has accrued; when one looks at the kinds of films that have garnered award nominations over the last few years, there does seem to be an abundance of nominations for stories that are anything but a reflection on a traditional American family, with a traditional two-parent home shown as happy and productive.
By claiming that the blame for the lack of awards success for “Little Women” be laid at the feet of men, Eldredge is simply ignoring the prevailing trend of honors given to films that actually challenge the role of the traditional American family. The leftists who control and pervade awards nomination groups in Hollywood and New York have an agenda to pursue, and there is little room left for a story as traditional and American as “Little Women.”