Another late night of work, I didn’t log off for good until almost 9, so tonight will be another short one. On the bright side, it was a sunny day with the mountains in full view while I worked, and while I watched tonight’s movie, I had some kitties keeping me company. Their presence was quite welcome as my viewing tonight proved to be a rough one.
Little Woods (2019, Dir. Nia DaCosta)
Little Woods is the true definition of a hidden gem. The film wasn’t even on my radar in 2019 (a year in which I saw 125 new releases), yet had I seen it, it would have easily made my year end list. The film stars Tessa Thompson as Ollie, a former drug dealer attempting to come clean and provider for her family. Her sister through adoption Deb (Lily James) is doing the same but finds herself in need of an abortion with no insurance to help. The two play off each other well approximating a sisterly relationship. They trade frustrations with between the two much like real sisters, but also are always there for one another.
Watching Little Woods, I kept thinking about 2010’s Winter’s Bone (Dir. Debra Granik). While not a perfect comp, Tessa Thompson was already a Marvel staring superstar compared to the unknown at the time Jennifer Lawrence, it’s still difficult to ignore the similarities. Both films put their gorgeous super stars in shapeless sweatshirts and grime from a hard day’s work. Devoid of the glitz and glam that both actresses experience in their tentpole blockbusters, these films allow the two to really flex their acting chops. This felt like a breakout role for Thompson. She may have been famous before this film, but in this low budget indie is the best she’s ever been. Watching her character risk her future to assure her sister’s stability was some of the best independent cinema of the past few years.