Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War.
What kind of person are you? Are you more traditional or are you a nonconformist? Maybe you’re somewhere in the middle. Well, there’s a certain nuance to each character in this novel based film that makes them transcendently relatable. Being able to make characters from the 1800s relevant in 2019 is no easy task and what makes this story special. Firstly, I’m a man that grew up surrounded by strong women. With that being the case, I love seeing a female-led film especially when the characters are as dynamic as the ones in Little Women. Not only are they individuals but are also a cohesive unit even while being so different from each other. These young ladies are growing up in a world where women are raised and encouraged to find a wealthy suitor in order to have a “good” life. Additionally, being told that their interests are mere hobbies and are of lesser value than that of men. Their children wouldn’t even be theirs. Craziness. These strong women, however, are not hearing any of that nonsense. They’re going to marry for love, not money, or not marry at all, chase their dreams, and live life on their own terms. While this story has been adapted to film many times, director, Greta Gerwig was able to present it in a fresh way that can be appreciated by generations of women and men. It’s a story about love, rebellion, self-discovery, unrelenting determination, and loss. It’s one of those stories that allow all of the characters to shine, even while having a focal character in Jo. It allows you to identify with a character while leaving you satisfied that they got a full storyline. Having never read the book, I can honestly say that I would like to give it glance. It’s that good. The acting and chemistry are amazing, the production design is great, in combination with the score done by Alexandre Desplat, Little Women is a great movie for the holidays and one of the years best.
Plot & Pace
The film follows four sisters that are all trying to find there place in a post Civil War society. It follows Jo, the writer of the family as she strives to be more in life than just a wife. The younger sister, Amy is in constant competition with Jo as they are both creative and she is a little jealous. The oldest sister, Meg is more traditional compared to the rest of her siblings as she wants to be married but not for the reason she was conditioned to. Lastly, we have Beth, the youngest sister who is revered by her siblings for being perfect one. Each sister is plagued by her own issues that in turn affect everyone else around them. With a multitude of societal issues along with family ones, there’s plenty of drama to go around.
Characters & Chemistry
The chemistry of the actresses is unmatched. Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen felt like authentic siblings. Along with Laura Dern as their mother, they were a true family unit. From the scenes of them playing games and acting out plays to their family squabbles, it all felt extremely real. The best moments were scenes led by Jo (Saoirse Ronan), her fervor and tenacity lit up the screen. Coming in a close second are scenes led by or featuring Amy (Florence Pugh). Both actresses have intensely memorable scenes with lover boy, Laurie (Timothee Chalamet). Dare I say, a spinoff focusing on Laurie could be done. Additionally, the cast includes Meryl Streep, Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, and Chris Cooper.
Little Women releases in theaters on December 25th. Enjoy the movie.
Director: Greta Gerwig
Runtime: 2h 14m0
Rating: 4 out of 5
Observing the human race since 1988.