Wednesday, May 03, 2006

From Scarlett to Marmee

69 years ago today Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer for Gone With the Wind (src). Two years later that popular southern novel would land on the nations screens and become a gargantuan and enduring screen epic. If you adjust for inflation, as you should, it's still the top grossing movie ever --nearly half a billion ahead of Titanic which is most frequently referred to as the biggest grossing film.

This year March, another civil war novel won the same prize. Will this one make it to the movies in so short a time? It springs from the Little Women mythos and tells about the father's side of things. You know the guy. He's the one Marmee and her girls are always yammering on about despite his absence. I hear Winona Ryder is looking for work. Noni needs a comeback in the worst way and what better way to do it than returning to 1994 (sort of) which you'll have to agree was her peak: she was a big star. She had just been nominated for an Academy Award. She followed that up with two majorly winning lead roles and a second consecutive nomination followed (it was for the wrong film but whatever). Maybe she could play Marmee this time?

tags: Winona Ryder, movies, celebrities, civil war, books, Pulitzer, box office


Yaseen Ali said...

Nathaniel, why are you so down on Winona's work in Little Women? I agree that she was great in Reality Bites as well, but I thought her Jo characterization was everything it should have been. Is there something in particular you disliked about her performance?


i don't think she's great at period is all. I think she's fine in Little Women, just not great and I think you ought to be great to get a nomination. Which is why it shoulda been for Reality Bites, her best performance in my mind (though i think she's also super in Heathers and Mermaids)

Anonymous said...

It's your choice, obviously, but awarding Winona for Reality bites and not for Little women is absurd.


why pray tell?

Reality Bites is one of those contemporary star performances that is spot-on, illuminating, with great comic timing and dramatic resonance. It's like all things a film could hope to hang its story and supporting cast around.

Anonymous said...

I agree that 'Reality Bites,' despite my quesiness at the sight of unbathed but beautiful people in dingy clothes and with greasy hair, is the best showcase of her considerable acting chops (both comedic and dramatic). Quintessential film of the early 90s in my opinion. I *heart* Winona so it pains me to see her star fading so fast, absent from the big screen. Hopefully, some savvy filmmaker will remember what a lifeforce she is and give her a part worthy of her talent. Wino forever!

Anonymous said...


Why do people get so hung up on film genre? It's as if a movie like 'Reality Bites' (and the acting therein) could not possibly be as good or better than 'Little Women' because the former just doesn't *seem* as important or substantial as the latter. Phooey! There are lots of cases of actors doing career-best work in thrillers, comedies and dramedies (romantic, slapstick or even black), experimental or stylized films, and even superhero movies -- the latter perhaps the most dissed and marginalized genre of all. I much prefer solid, engaging character studies like 'Terms of Endearment' and 'Postcards from the Edge' (two of my personal favs) to somber, uber-serious but ultimately joyless affairs like 'Crash' (which I'm not a fan of). Patooey!



you know you're preaching to the choir. i don't care what genre a film belongs to. at all*. all genres can produce classics and stinkers.

* the only exception to this would be that "musicals" tend to get extra credit from me ( i can't help it ). and "horror" the opposite. This is not because I think horror is not worthwhile (certainly classics can come from there as well) --just that I have a harder time with them.