Movie fans are over the moon about the casting for “Little Women,” Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's coming of age novel in the Civil War era. As Vogue magazine reporter Bridget Read put it, the Internet is “losing its mind over the all-star cast that includes Meryl Streep, Emma Stone and the latest hire, Laura Dern, which has “sent Twitter over the edge.” Each new announcement of hire for this movie “feels like the fantasy casting gods have smiled down upon us,” she said.

Over the top

Bridget Read is not exaggerating about the response to Gerwig's choice of actors for the movie?

To give you an idea of the outright euphoria. Hazel Hayes tweeted, “And then Greta solved global warming and rid the world of evil.” High praise. But I'm not as blissful about the casting – particularly the hiring of Streep. She'll play Aunt March.

This is a pretty juicy part given that Gerwig will be covering the second half of the novel when the sister grows up and their mentor is Aunt March - an elderly, rich fuss-pot who likes the company of young people. Jo, her companion for a while - reading to her, shopping with her – was annoyed by her fussiness. So when the aunt opts for a European trip, she picks Amy as her companion.

In the spotlight

The way Alcott wrote the story, Aunt March will be pivotal to the movie.

Streep will, therefore, have our attention throughout and that's what worries me given how she played Katherine Graham, publisher of the Washington Post in Steven Spielberg 2017 production “The Post.”

Graham made history when she agrees to publish the Pentagon Papers, a secret government report about the lies that the Lyndon Johnson administration told the American people about the Vietnam war.

Streep seemed to under-play Graham's stressful decision-making process, almost as if it were a normal newsroom occurrence.

There was nothing normal about deciding to reveal a government secret. She risked the survival of her newspaper. Streep certainly looked like the publisher with her signature hairdo. But there was so much more to Graham than the way she looked.

Her risk-taking just didn't show anywhere on Streep's face. And there was a lot to show besides the agonizing decision. Graham was new to the job. Her husband, who ran the paper, committed suicide. Her stress level had to have been sky-high. But all I saw was Streep acting, not reacting. Her celebrity got in the way. Her presence was too great. You couldn't see Graham.

Makeup Madness

Of course, actors can not only under-play a character but also over-play it and spoil the picture. I'm thinking of Laurence Olivier playing the lead in the 1965 movie of the bard's “Othello.” He created an unnecessary distraction by doing it in blackface, presumably to capture the character's Moorish heritage.

This brings to mind the 2001 history book “Black Beauty” by British voice-over artist Ben Arogundade, who faults Western culture's superficial take on black people.

So this accomplished actor was going to great lengths for an external effect - skin tone. Backstage reported in 2011 that Olivier sat in a makeup chair every day for nearly three hours during the filming in order to appear black, And you had to wonder why. Everyone knows he's wasn't.