Film Review – Little Women (2019)

Title – Little Women (2019)

Director – Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

Cast – Saoirse Ronan, Timothee Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper, Bob Odenkirk

Plot – The story of the March sisters, Jo (Ronan), Amy (Pugh), Meg (Watson) and Beth (Scanlen), who must navigate their lives and dreams against the backdrop of the American Civil War era.

“There are some natures too noble to curb, to lofty too bend”

Review by Eddie on 15/01/2020

Did the world need or ask for another adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s famed novel Little Women? The answer is probably no but after having sat through Greta Gerwig’s lovingly shot and beautifully staged version of the beloved story of the March sisters, you’d be hard pressed too find many viewers that weren’t glad this new take on the classic story came to life.

Announcing herself as a filmmaking force with her directional debut Lady Bird, Gerwig proves here to be the real deal in a very big way, as she takes the reigns behind the camera and takes charged of screenwriting duties as she instills her own flavor and verve into Alcott’s family drama.

Whilst set in the Civil War era of the United States, Gerwig manages to bring modern day sensibilities and flair to the March’s tale, without ever losing sight of the core heart and soul of the narrative that has managed to maintain a place in popular culture for these many years since it’s initial release in print form.

Little Women is one of those features that feels accomplished and thought through wherever you look from Yorick Le Saux’s photogenic cinematography, Jacqueline Durran’s sumptuous costume design, through to a typically strong Alexandre Desplat score, as the film showcases Gerwig growing before our eyes as a director in what’s a major step up production wise from the small-scale and more independently structured Lady Bird.

As with her breakout film, Gerwig has managed to assemble a fantastic and on song cast to bring her vision to screen with every performer bringing their A-game’s to proceedings here, as returning Gerwig actors Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet as the determined and unflappable Jo March and the devilishly charismatic Theodore Laurence respectively shine brightest in a loaded ensemble.

With Lady Bird and this higher profile effort under her belt, it’s clear that Gerwig is an actors director, as she also oversees the further establishment of 2019 breakout star Florence Pugh, who delivers an awards worthy turn as the more artistic and whimsical March sister Amy.

Thanks to the film’s overwhelmingly strong performances and technical strengths, the fact that Little Women’s now more formulaic and familiar plot movements and processions never threaten to detour from the fact this heartfelt and soulful effort is a thoroughly enjoyable and likable affair, that manages to say some important things about equality and female empowerment without ever feeling preachy or overbearing.

A strong vision from a female filmmaker of substantial and timely power.

Final Say –

A deservingly praised incarnation of a much adapted tale, Little Women is a fabulously watchable version of a literary classic that further enhances Gerwig and her actresses standings in the cinematic landscape.

4 1/2 burnt novels out of 5

23 responses to “Film Review – Little Women (2019)

  1. I enjoyed the movie overall, but the non-linear flashback structure didn’t really work for me, though I appreciated the effort to present an old familiar story in a different way.

    • I understand what you mean, it would’ve worked just as well with a more straight up approach to the plot but I think Gerwig was just trying to mix up the old story abit which I appreciate.
      E

  2. I loved this film! I thought the non-linear style really helped pull the emotions of the story together. It’s also near impossible to not love something Saoirse Ronan is in… Great review!

  3. Good review. Have to agree with you about this movie. Loved it. Never read the book or seeing any of the other adaptations, so I went in to the film completely blind and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great acting.

    • Have a feeling that my keyboard needs charging … I will try once more: my original reply should have read ‘it does NOT detract from the whole’. And yes very much agree with you re Florences screen prescence.

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  6. Loved the movie, hoping to do character analyses on all of the March sisters because I feel the movie added a different side to them that we don’t initially get from the book.

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