Movie Review: Little Women

The new movie “Little Women”, based on the novel Little Women is the latest adaptation of the famous book written by Louisa May Alcott  that was published over 150 years ago. This film was both written and directed by Greta Gerwig, who hit it very big with “Lady Bird” in 2017 and has to be respected to trying to turn a world famous novel into a movie.

Unfortunately for me, despite the very high critical reviews that are in the 95% range on Rotten Tomatoes, the story of this movie is all over the place. It was almost as if it did not matter what order any scene was positioned. The entire movie was one scene in present time, followed by a flashback, followed by another scene that was an alternate possible path then another that was reality. There were too many flashbacks in this movie and mainly because of this, I am very surprised by the very high reviews and did not like this film. I thought this was going to be story mainly about the financial oppression of women in the late 1800’s and there was some of that, but not nearly enough. Perhaps this film is for people who have read and are big fans of the book, but for me it played like a soap opera, rather than an interesting drama that had a strong beginning, middle and end. I did like the ending when Jo March, negotiated a favorable contract for the release of her book, with the publisher. Other than this, I found most of this movie forgettable.

The acting of the entire cast was very good, including Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, Bob Odenkirk, Florence Pugh, Chris Cooper and Meryl Streep.

I do not agree with the high reviews of this film and do not recommend it, other than for die hard fans of the novel.

Movie Review: Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler has probably had one of the most remarkable careers in the entire history of the movie industry. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the movies he has made as an actor, director and writer have been panned by all the critics and many are considered some of the worst movies ever made, he has been able to get funding to make many more bad movies in his career, while amassing a huge fortune of 420 million dollars. There is no other profession in the world that could reward anyone who has made this many bad movies with this amount of money.

In 2002 Sandler made a movie called “Punch Drunk Love”, that was not only a very good movie, but proved that Adam Sandler can be an outstanding actor. I thought Punch Drunk Love was the turning point in Sandler’s career, turning the corner into making high quality movies demonstrating his acting ability. Unfortunately, the opposite happened and Sandler made several more bad movies including, Jack and Jill, Just Go with It, You Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Pixels. Hopefully this time around with his outstanding performance in “Uncut Gems”, Sandler will make more movies like this one that prove conclusively that in the right role, he can be a great actor.

I have only seen one other movie that shows the tragic and pathetic life of a compulsive gambler like Uncut Gems does. “The Gambler”, released in 2014 with Mark Wahlberg did a very good job at showing the desperation of a person insanely gambling away their life because the high of winning and even losing becomes greater than their intrinsic human desire to survive. Uncut Gems raises the bar about a story involving compulsive gambling to a much higher level and what happens in this movie is insane, fast paced, desperate and pathetic, with acting that is about as real as I have ever seen.

Howard Ratner, played by Sandler is the owner of a jewelry shop in a New York City high rise and on the side he places what are called “parlay” bets on sporting events that are bets on a combination of events during a sporting event, for this story Basketball. Ratner bets that basketball player Kevin Garnet, who plays himself in this film, will score a certain number of points, rebounds, his team will win the opening tip and his team will win. During this insane story, Ratner is constantly trying to pay off one gambling debt and at the same time opening up another one, all the while running for his life while one thug or several are trying to beat him up or even kill him. Ratner is married with a son and a daughter but despite his responsibilities as a husband and a father, he takes risk after risk placing insane bets that if he loses his entire life could be over in an instant. The high, so perfectly defined in this excellent film, is all about the fear of life ending disaster and the extreme euphoria of winning big. There is one scene in this movie where Kevin Garnet and his friends are trying to get into Ratner’s Jewelry store, but the security door is stuck. What follows are about 10 different and eventually desperate attempts to get the door opened, a scene that is greatly symbolic of the frustrating, desperate and crazy life of Ratner himself.

The high level of tension, and insane situations in this film is matched by the great acting by the entire cast and especially Sander, who even has a shot at winning an Academy Award for his performance in this movie, on a par with Joaquin Phoenix in Joker – for both the intensity and desperation. It would be hugely ironic to see Adam Sandler win an Academy award considering how many of his movies and performances have been trashed for so many years.  

The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for Uncut Gems are an extremely high 93% and I agree with this rating and highly recommend this film as one of the very best of 2019. Congratulations to Adam Sandler who proved once again, that he can be a great actor in the right role.

Golden Globe Award Nominations 2020

For the record, the omission of Robert DeNiro for best actor in a motion picture for both the Golden Globe and SAG awards this year, is one of the worst examples of biased voting in the history of movie award organizations. One can only guess that they did not vote for Deniro, despite his stellar and almost 3 1/2 hour performance in the Irisman because of his recent personal scandal involving his maid. However, what does his personal scandal have to do with his acting performance in the Irishman? This omission is a big mistake that hopefully will not be repeated when the Oscar nominations are released.

Best Motion Picture, Drama


“The Irishman”


“Marriage Story”

“The Two Popes”

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

“Dolemite Is My Name”

“Jojo Rabbit”

“Knives Out”

“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”


Best Director, Motion Picture

Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

Sam Mendes, “1917”

Todd Phillips, “Joker”

Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”

Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”

Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”

Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”

Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”

Renée Zellweger, “Judy”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Ana de Armas, “Knives Out”

Awkwafina, “The Farewell”

Cate Blanchett, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”

Beanie Feldstein, “Booksmart”

Emma Thompson, “Late Night”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture

Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”

Annette Bening, “The Report”

Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”

Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”

Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

Christian Bale, “Ford v Ferrari”

Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”

Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”

Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”

Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Daniel Craig, “Knives Out”

Roman Griffin Davis, “Jojo Rabbit”

Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”

Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite Is My Name”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture

Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”

Al Pacino, “The Irishman”

Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”

Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture

Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”

Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, “Parasite”

Anthony McCarten, “The Two Popes”

Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”

Steven Zaillian, “The Irishman”

Best Original Score, Motion Picture

Alexandre Desplat, “Little Women”

Hildur Gudnadottir, “Joker”

Randy Newman, “Marriage Story”

Thomas Newman, “1917”

Daniel Pemberton, “Motherless Brooklyn”

Best Original Song, Motion Picture

“Beautiful Ghosts,” “Cats”

“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”

“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen 2”

“Spirit,” “The Lion King”

“Stand Up,” “Harriet”