(Sony Pictures “Little Women”/2019)
Greta Gerwig’s version of this classic literature brings a more fresh modern energy while staying faithful to the book.
The 2019 adaptation landed six nominations at the 92nd Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. This being the seventh film adaptation to Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel, but it’s by far the best one.
To say that Little Women has a top notch cast is an understatement. Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep are just some of the many actors who bring this timeless story to life.
Gerwig gives a fresh input into this adaptation with her creative writing of coming-to-age films without falling into the chick-flick category. She made her solo directorial debut in 2018 with ‘Lady Bird’ and received two Academy Award nominations.
This Christmas tale represents love, war and feminism. It unravels during and after the civil war as Jo March (Ronan) reflects on her life through writing. Jo and her three sisters Meg (Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh) and Beth March (Eliza Scanlen) journey from childhood to womanhood trying to find themselves.
Jo represents an independent writer living in New York, while Meg reflects on her past freedom as she struggles with poverty as a mother and wife. Amy courses through her childhood insecurities of being misunderstood while exploring her passion for painting. Beth develops an illness that requires the March family to stay together.
Gerwig’s adaptation jumps back and forth with seamless transitions of flashbacks and flash-forwards of the March sisters, making it a fun puzzle to watch. Every scene has its own aesthetic color palette, where the flashbacks contain warm bright colors and the current events have a more dark cold sense to it. This keeps the audience engaged in the nostalgic feeling of the past while highlighting the wisdom the March family has gained over time.
Little Women competed against big box-office films like “Jumanji: The Next Level” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” earning over $16 million the first weekend. It has a 95% fresh for Rotten Tomatoes, 90% on Metacritic and a rating of 8.3/10 on IMDb.
The 2019 adaptation recognizes the main elements of the book and stays faithful to the aspect of the 19th century while giving it a fresh taste of contemporary culture. If you’re looking for a story about sister drama, devastating sickness, money power and secret romances, ‘Little Women’ might be the move for your next time at the theaters.