Praising Another Little Women Film
I hope Greta Gerwig’s marvelous version of Little Women doesn’t get lost amid all the flashier movies released during this holiday season. Opening on Christmas Day, it’s a beautiful cinematic gift. Full disclosure: I have loved four previous Little Women movies, so maybe it’s Louisa May Alcott’s timeless story written way back in 1868 that charms me no matter who writes, directs or stars in each film version.
This time, we are treated to perfect casting and perhaps the liveliest movie presentation of this iconic tale about four sisters growing up during the Civil War era. Katharine Hepburn (1933), June Allyson (1949), Wynonna Ryder (1994), and Sarah Davenport (2018) have given excellent screen performances as Jo, the story’s main character. But none of them touched me as deeply as Saoirse Ronan in this new Little Women, written and directed by Gerwig. Perhaps the recent experience Ronan and Gerwig shared working together in Lady Bird helped bring out even more levels of their extraordinary talents in this impressive offering.
Speaking of talented cast members, the entire supportive ensemble deserves recognition. Laura Dern as Marmee, Frances Pugh as Amy, Emma Watson as Meg, Eliza Scanlen as Beth, Meryl Streep as Aunt March, and Timothée Chalamet as Laurie all stand out. In particular, Chalamet impressed me with the best ever interpretation of Laurie, who suffers from his unrequited love for the independent Jo, whose writing always seems to come first. His interpretation of this important character went straight to my heart.
The March sisters on screen again.
Greta Gerwig gives them a spin.
“Little Women” – a tale well-told
and led by Jo, the sister bold.
Saoirse Ronan plays that key role
with intellect and heart and soul.
This version skips around in time,
which ends up being quite sublime.
A lovely film for families.
Plus other viewers it should please.
Remakes often fail movie fans.
But this one might be safe from pans.
Splendid production values make us feel like we have been transported back in time. Period costumes and sets plus atmospheric background music and cinematography are all first rate. But don’t expect linear storytelling here. Surprisingly, Gerwig’s version uses out-of-sequence flashbacks that actually heighten our interest.
As expected, Gerwig's remake emphasizes the importance of family, especially sisterhood, through the ups and downs of life . That’s why this review is dedicated to my dear sister, Ruella Anderson.
I like to help women help themselves…Whatever we can do and do well we have the right to, and I don’t think anyone will deny us. --- Louisa May Alcott
(Released by Sony Pictures and rated “PG-13” by MPAA.)