Little Women Review
Updated: Jan 28, 2020
Little Women is the story of four sisters fighting for their hopes and dreams in a refreshing and heart-warming coming of age tale. In the aftermath of the American Civil War the March sisters, but most significantly Jo March’s (Soarise Ronan), tale is told. Her battle to be a successful writer in New York and her desire and resistance to marry form the basis of this work as their childhood is laid out through flashbacks and we follow the sisters journeys. It is a beautiful film that will enamour the audience as they follow these passionate women through their lives. The four leading actresses (Soarise Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson and Elza Scanlen) under the direction of Greta Gerwig, (hot off her stunning debut film Ladybird) gives the film a relevance that will touch the emotions of any modern audience.
completely re-imagined the plot of Little Women through the series of flashbacks she uses to tell the childhood stories of the March sisters, this refreshing twist adapts the linearity of the novel creating a fluid and dynamic performance. The soft and warm lighting of the flashbacks highlights the happy ease of their childhood and I certainly found myself becoming enveloped in the trials and plights of their adulthood. It is these sequences that make this film so beautiful. It tells the tale of human lives and it appeals to the humanity of those watching it. The passion and determination of the young women within the film is incredibly refreshing. There is only one love interest throughout, which acts as a subplot, this approach when compared to the lack of strong female leads and plots in Hollywood is inspiring and I would recommend this film on this basis alone.
The performances, especially that of Florence Pugh, are stunning. Pugh breathes new life into the character Amy March, the sister often at loggerheads with our Jo. I would say Amy is harder to like than the others, but Pugh does a fantastic job displaying her hopes, her dreams and performing her worse traits in a unique light. Emma Watson likewise gives Meg's story new depths, her performance is emotive and provides a brilliant contrast to that off Jo's. It is wonderful to be able to say that Timothee Chalamet (Laurie Laurence) is outshined by the women he shares his scenes with. His performance though weaker is a good display of character and represents who he is playing well. This film though made up of a strong and dynamic cast will always be about its four female leads whose performance is what made the film so beautiful, touching and incredible.
This film is an beautifully moving watch with incredible shots which can only be credited to Greta Gerwig. The stunning performances form every March sister makes this film feel new, fresh and vital to the modern era. The ending though does not deserve the glowing recommendation that I would give it one whole, it loses the unique commentary on love and romance that is so vital to Jo's character. My only criticism would be that this dramatic shift in her attitude seems rushed and unexpected and potentially renegades on the values taught throughout. This does not stop the film being incredibly strong and a beautiful watch that could life anyone from their January slump.