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On ‎12‎/‎20‎/‎2018 at 1:15 PM, dirac said:

it also works as an ensemble piece; you really do feel that you’ve gotten to know this family. (Garland hardly appears in what is arguably the most celebrated portion of the film, the Halloween sequence with O’Brien and the other children.)

 I just love Tom Drake in this and his line readings (“The welsh rarebit was ginger peachy.”)

One of the strengths of Meet Me in St. Louis is that M-G-M cast it from strength from its contract roster -- not just Garland, O'Brien and Drake but Mary Astor, Leon Ames, Lucille Bremer and Marjorie Main as well.

The Halloween segment is justly celebrated but I always feel like it came out of an entirely different movie. As if M-G-M had scrapped a movie that wasn't working, salvaged the Halloween sequence and inserted it in Meet Me in St. Louis.

And Tom Drake was from the Brooklyn part of St. Louis. :)

 

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16 hours ago, miliosr said:

The Halloween segment is justly celebrated but I always feel like it came out of an entirely different movie. As if M-G-M had scrapped a movie that wasn't working, salvaged the Halloween sequence and inserted it in Meet Me in St. Louis.

Apparently Mayer (and Freed) initially felt that way and wanted it cut. Then Minnelli ran the picture for Freed without the Halloween sequence and Freed said, "It's not the same picture," and the scene stayed in. The movie is structured episodically, so I don't think the Halloween episode sticks out quite that much, but it's true that it's the sequence that does least to move the story forward, which is why the execs objected to it, and it has a tone all its own - it really is rather scary, for one thing.

However, I like that the kids seem to be operating in their own little world (no helicopter parents in old St. Louis, I guess). If nothing else, the segment is a showcase for the unique gifts of Margaret O'Brien. For all Minnelli's legerdemain I don't think it works without her.

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7 hours ago, dirac said:

it really is rather scary, for one thing.

The Halloween sequence is actually scarier than some of the movies in the Halloween franchise!

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Just saw the new Little Women. 

There are things I loved about this version and also things I really disliked. Here is what I liked:

- I loved the flashback structure. I thought that it solved one of the biggest problems of the Little Women -- the warm, charming, but slow-moving first "childhood" half with the somewhat depressing, adult second half. By tying the two together constantly in flashback we see how childhood dreams dissolve into harsh realities.

- I loved Saoirse Ronan as Jo. I love Winona Ryder but she wasn't strong enough as Jo. Ronan does have the fierceness and tomboyish-ness.

- I LOVED Jo's bittersweet reaction to Laurie marrying Amy. Love is not always romantic and it's possible to be absolutely heartbroken that a childhood friend has now moved on. 

- The development of the Amy/Laurie romance. Thought it was well-done and believable. 

- I liked how Beth was portrayed as genuinely sickly from the beginning. It made her early demise believable.

- I loved the really physical fight between Jo and Amy. There was nothing ladylike about it. In general I enjoyed the rough-and-tumble of this Little Women compared to the previous versions.

Now with that being said, there's some things that didn't work for me:

-  Florence Pugh as 12 year old Amy: NO. She was a great adult/Europe Amy but as a 12 year old? No. Her voice is the deepest and huskiest of the sisters. 

- The very modern vocal inflections during the movie were jarring. 

- The scene with Meg at the ball cut one of my favorite scenes from the book: when Meg overhears the other girls making fun of her dress and socioeconomic status. 

- Professor Bhaer. I know Gerwig wanted it to deliberately be ambiguous if the ending was fiction or reality. But in this version the seem like they barely know each other and there's nothing to suggest Jo really likes him.

- Meryl Streep as Aunt March. Yes yes I know Meryl is a goddess but sometimes I feel like her acting is now a collection of tics and mannerisms and this is exhibit A.

But overall I enjoyed this version. I think it's a great supplement to the 1994 version. Both have their virtues and flaws. 

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Canbelto, I know this is heresy but I agree with you about Meryl Streep. She has a toolbox of mannerisms that you see in every role. IMO of course. 

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