Our Favorites & How to Watch Them:
My Brilliant Career: The Gillian Armstrong movie about a headstrong woman growing up, choosing between the love of her childhood friend and a new suitor, and writing a novel about her experiences that isn’t called Little Women.
Little Women: If you don’t know what Little Women is about at this point in your life, I am so confused as to how you found this site and genuinely want to know everything about you.
Oscar and Lucinda: The titular Oscar and Lucinda bet each other that Oscar can’t transport a glass church that Lucinda has made across Australia by Good Friday. Complications arise. Like a lot of complications.
Charlotte Grey: Cate Blanchett plays -- you guessed it -- Charlotte Gray, a British lady spy who works with the French Resistance to defeat the Nazis.
Dear Gillian Armstrong,
I'm not a huge fan of committing to favorites for fear of changing my mind in the future, but since I've had 23 years with it at this point, I feel confident in calling your adaptation of Little Women my absolute favorite movie. I've watched it no fewer than twenty times and have no doubt that I'll watch it at least twenty more. It's perfectly cast -- you somehow caught many of my favorite actresses at my favorite point in their careers, all at the same time. It's also one of the best representations of both family and what it means to be a woman (and a daughter and a sister and a mother...) I can think of. It's basically a perfect period film -- feeling old fashioned in all the right ways and modern in all the most feminist-y ways -- and as someone who grew up with a major Louisa May Alcott obsession, I have no qualms about mentioning it in the same breath with The Wizard of Oz and To Kill A Mockingbird as one of the few film adaptations that's actually as good as the source material. And look, Little Women alone would be enough to make me want to write you this letter, but you've also done some pretty incredible work outside of it. My Brilliant Career features one of my favorite Judy Davis performances, which -- considering the fact that Judy Davis has one of the highest batting averages of any actress basically ever -- is significant. And not for nothing, in 1979, it was the the first Australian feature to be directed by a woman in 48 years. Then in both Oscar and Lucinda and Charlotte Gray, you combined love of my life Cate Blanchett with the other love of my life, Movies Featuring Authentic Female Protagonists. And not to come on too strong here, but I'll go ahead and say you might be the third love of my life because of it.