In 1860s Massachusetts, the March family has four daughters, all with different artistic aspirations. Meg (Emma Watson) is an actress who is happy complying to society’s ideals of feminity, Jo (Saoirse Ronan) is an aspiring writer with intentions to make it on her own, cherubic Beth (Eliza Scanlen) is a musician, favouring the piano, and Amy (Florence Pugh) a painter who sometimes feels put out as the youngest child (although it was only in researching for this post that I discovered she was supposed to be the youngest, as it felt like Beth far more filled out that role). Their mother Marmee (Laura Dern) tries to mould them into good, charitable adults whilst their father is fighting in the American Civil War, and over the seven year period of the film, they all have varying dalliances with their wealthy neighbour’s grandson Laurie (Timothee Chalamet).
Todd Solondz is almost the dictionary definition of an acquired taste when it comes to film. For most directors, subjects like rape, dead parents, domestic terrorism and a lifetime of remorse wouldn’t necessarily inspire a comedy, yet they’re all par for the course with Solondz in this darkly comic anthology following the various owners of an ambivalent female dachshund. Continue reading →