I love Greta Gerwig and everything that has to do with her, so I might be biased. But, still.
For the ones who haven’t read the book, or read it so long ago that don’t remember much — like myself, the story takes place in mid-19th-century Massachusetts. It is about the March sisters, Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen), who all have their own dreams and challenges. The children’s book is charmingly reconfigured for the contemporary cinema-goer.
Adapting a novel into the big screen makes sense when the sight and sound adds more dimensions to the words on the pages. Quite many times, we see that directors adapt these great novels to cinema but fail to convey the core feeling or end up missing out many significant details. Gerwig blends her unique energy and perspective to a classic, and ends up with what I’d expect of a successful adaptation.
Gerwig takes a well known novel and uses it to present a contemporary idea of women and feminism. In the period where the story takes place, a woman had no opportunity to earn well enough money to make a living for themselves and their families. Therefore, the only way seemed to be marrying rich. The film highlights how this fact crashes the dreams of many women, and how it restrains some from dreaming. While the world depicted is of over a century ago, it is still relatable and empowering to see how women overcome challenges to pull the strings of their lives.
Aside from its ideology, the film is a delight to watch. The temporality is not linear, so it never gets dull for the ones who know from the story what follows next. The cute moments have the ideal level of sweetness and leaves a smile on your face without being cheesy.
You will love the ending and the director’s own criticism of it, embedded in the film. Gerwig takes a bold step to claim she knows how the author Louisa May Alcott would have ended the story but couldn’t because of her time. She highlights that a single woman doesn’t necessarily ruin a happy ending; but will provide the marriage for the sake of romance and loyalty to the novel. Left me with a smile.
Saoirse Ronan is beautiful as Jo. She convinced me of Jo’s restless energy and her desire to fly while still in a cage. I loved her in Lady Bird, too, which also was directed by Greta Gerwig in 2017. Now she is a young adult, glowing, and has a unique beauty. I think she reminds me of someone that I still couldn’t put my finger to, so please comment below if you know who I might be thinking she looks like.
I think Timothée Chalamet is a promising young actor. Their on screen chemistry with Ronan was proven in Lady Bird, and they look sweet together in this film, too. Considering he was starring in Call Me By Your Name, Chalamet is taking role in all these productions I like, which makes me hopeful and delighted by this new talent.
Among the others, I loved seeing Laura Dern in the cast simply because seeing her face on the screen makes me happy. No further explanations needed.
Little Women became one of my favorite adaptations, maybe after Adaptation., and made me even more excited about the upcoming works of Greta Gerwig. I recommend you spare some time and go see it.