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a new viewing of Greta Gerwig’s Little Women

How quickly the seasons change; this morning I’m wearing warm socks for the first time since June. We’re heading into it, friends. But not into a hurricane, at least, like our friends in Nova Scotia.

Last week, my photographer neighbour Marian Voysey came to take a new headshot for me. It took almost two hours and hundreds, thousands, of deer-in-the-headlights I-hate-this shots before coming up with a single one that I think works. I like this one, an actual smile with actual teeth taken in the garden. Hope you do too.

Tuesday, my first rehearsal with City Choir. We were plunged right in; one of the songs we worked on is in Arabic and we were given lessons in pronunciation. But then, by the end, it sounded a bit like music. Loved it. Thursday, the first meeting of my home writing class since early summer. They’re such good writers, and we’re all such good friends now, after years of telling each other the truth and nothing but the truth. A rare group.

I received a doctor’s report on my bone scan: my osteoporosis leaves me with “mild to medium risk for fractures.” More calcium. More exercise, to make sure that if and when I do fall, I can bounce back. Disintegration continues. Sigh.

Yesterday’s treats — out to the Beach on a glorious sunny day to walk by the water and have lunch with Annie (first sighting of sumac turning – another sigh) …

and then meeting dear friend Rosemary Shipton and her daughter Susan at the Fox cinema, to see Greta Gerwig’s Little Women served up with tea and scones. I saw it when it came out in 2019 but it’s more than worth seeing again, a stunning film with wonderful performances, especially from (have to look up how to spell her name) Saoirse Ronan (so many vowels. Pronounced Sersha. Of course!) as an unforgettably feisty, furious Jo, the ink-stained writer. The only mistake, as I noted on the first viewing, is Timothée Chalamet as a Laurie so boyish, thin, and fey, he practically levitates. The bond between his Laurie and a woman with the heft of Florence Pugh, as a startlingly interesting Amy, is not credible. But otherwise, it’s magnificent, the way Gerwig as director and writer updates the material — her feminist bona fides evident here long before she entertained us with them so cleverly in Barbie — and uses direct address to the camera and constant jumps in time that never become confusing. Highly recommended.

A word about Rosemary, who has had a long, stellar career and many awards as the most renowned nonfiction editor in Canada and co-founder of the school of publishing at what is now TMU: she has just been made Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster. How apt that she has been rewarded, after a lifetime of hard work and achievement, with her dream job. An inspiration for us all.

How few people, even writers, understand the vital importance of a good editor. Kudos to the team at S & S, who obviously do.



2 Responses to “a new viewing of Greta Gerwig’s Little Women”

  1. Pat Butler says:

    I think your new headshot is terrific. The pink illustrates your vibrant nature; the smile shows that you are relaxing and fun to be with; the slightly out-of-focus foreground highlights your artistic side. Brava.

  2. Beth Kaplan says:

    Thank you, Pat! We took hundreds of shots and this is the only one I liked – but all we needed was one.

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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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