Film Round-Up: Little Women, Downhill and Military Wives

Right, let’s get on with it.

Little Women

The classic novel where the Marsh sisters try to get through life is adapted into a movie. This is basically what I wanted Emma to be. A period piece which didn’t feel stilted or heavy but actually has stakes. Emma was a lovely thing to sit through but it had the depth of a paddling pool. Little Women is a lovely thing to sit through but has the depth of the Pacific Ocean. All four sisters are well played and feel real, though I do think sometimes I’d have more connection to the movie if I was or had a sister. And for a while that was my predominant thought because while the film’s first half was good, it struggled because it was obvious where it was going and had a bit of seen it all before about. However, the film hits fantastic status in the second half where the movie concentrates more on Jo and her dilemma between being independent and living the life expected of her. Saorise Ronan is fantastic and honestly, I’m glad I finally can endorse a film she stars in. The stick I got for not really being too into Ladybird and Brooklyn can go away now please!

Downhill

Will Ferrell faces the wrath of his family after he runs away from saving his family during an avalanche. What a chore this movie was to get through. The big crux of the film is the deliberate avalanche which causes Ferrell to run off. However, that takes ages to happen and then the anger about the incident takes longer after that. So we get lots of scenes with Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus being awful people, Dreyfus goes full Karen with one of the wildlings from Game of Thrones and boy is that painful and pointless to go through, and not much actually happening. Oh and if to make things even worse, the soundtrack is two men on helium heavily breathing on each other. This is a remake of a Scandanavian film that is meant to be amazing but none of that translated.

Military Wives

Kristen Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan put together a choir of the military wives to keep them occupied while their husbands fight in the war. I’m going to tell you now that Thomas is posh and Horgan is working class. Now you know the story. The two of them are going to clash, the choir is going to be full of plucky amusing characters, there’ll be some tragedy on the way but everyone will pull together by the end for the big performance. It’s the same story we’ve heard a million times before and it’s the same one here. I’m not saying it’s bad, this movie is executed well even if the pace is a bit too quick. It’s a decent thing to sit through and I can’t imagine anyone regretting watching it because it’s solid enough, it’s just not that original. And that’s why my review is shorter than a sapling.

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.