Five Decisions Greta Gerwig Could Have Made to Guarantee Herself a Best Director Nomination for Little Women


  1. Cast Tom Hanks as Jo March. Sure, he’s a guy, but everyone loves Tom Hanks and Ms. Gerwig would have gotten credit for taking a directorial risk.

    2. Use an illusory single-tracking shot (known as a “Mendes”) to follow Marmee March as she walks 435 miles from Concord, MA to Washington, DC to comfort her ailing husband. With the Civil War in progress, she must trudge through at least one active battlefield (a detour through Sharpsburg, MD may be necessary), muddying her dress, becoming ensnared in barbed wire, and pausing to cradle the head of a young, expiring Union or Confederate soldier (or horse) in her arms.

    3. Make the petulant, impulsive character of Amy March a bit edgier by encasing her face in garish, menacing clown make-up. Instead of Amy feeding the pages of Jo’s precious manuscript to the fireplace’s flames, have her burn down the March house while laughing maniacally and dancing like Elaine from Seinfeld in the front yard.

    4. Find a way to incorporate both Jimmy Hoffa and Charles Manson into the plot (consult Mr. Scorsese and Mr. Tarantino for suggestions). Perhaps Hoffa and Manson can meet at a church social in Concord, forming an alliance with Amy. The three of them could then burn down the March house together.

    5. Have the March family live secretly in the dank basement of a wealthy Korean family’s home in the Asian section of Concord. Over the course of the film, show the four poverty-stricken sisters becoming increasingly frustrated by the impact of this unjust confinement on their social lives, as well as on the ability of Jo to meet with a publisher and Beth to find a decent piano. Eventually, they are all seduced by Charles Manson and wreak havoc on the Koreans upstairs in a blood-soaked finale.

    Good luck next year, Greta. If all else fails, consider changing your first name to Gregg. It’s only a two-letter difference, and you won’t need to buy new monogrammed towels.


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