Gaining many nominations for 2019, Little Women arrived in theaters. This drama of the time tells the story of the four brothers and their journey from childhood to womanhood.
Based on the 1868 novel of the same name, the film deals with Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet along with Laura Dern, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Bob Odenkirk and Meryl Streep.
The book is loosely based on author Louisa May Alcott and her three sisters.
Is It Worth My Time?
Look at it: If you are a fan of the novel or previous movie adaptations. If you’re curious about how director Greta Gerwig handles the source material, it’s well worth it.
Skip it: If you hope the story contains a lot of action-packed scenes and you prefer a movie with no flashbacks.
Early on in the film, it is clear that Gerwig began making a film on a more epic scale. Little Women contain amazing images. Gardens, rich costumes, estates and fields combine to form a cinematic visual spectacle.
In a larger sense, it is not unlike another season piece, Downton Abbey, released earlier this year. The design of the production and the costume deserve a lot of recognition.
In essence with a cast, Little Women also shine in the directing department. No one seems to be the weakest link. According to Saoirse Ronan, and as he did with the director’s 2017 Lady Bird, Gerwig banned the use of cell phones.
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Every actor and actress appears to embody the quirks and differences of his character. Florence Pugh offers many moments of comedy, while Ronan in the lead role displays a colorful wheel of emotions throughout.
More embarrassing, unfortunately, is the scenario that Gerwig also created. Featuring a more non-linear approach, this adaptation features flashbacks throughout the film.
One might want to call it a “double story”. Essentially, though, that’s just Jo’s perspective.
Backlinks are common. However, Gerwig seems so in love with the novel that he wants the movie to play itself. Pictures that a reader can take from the novel are revealed on the big screen.
But this movie full of flashbacks plays a bit chic. As Jo remembers nostalgic about happier times, sometimes the film plays as confused or unnatural.
Gerwig uses cleverly different color tones to signal when we are in a flash and when we are here. But the film has confused some viewers who are unfamiliar with both fiction and cinematic technique.
Gerwig’s creative decision, in this sense, weakens another stunning film.
The director has also modernized the story itself for a 2019 audience. Gerwig’s decision in the finale, for example, will thank some and not others. In her defense, she wished to remain faithful to the 1860 novel while at the same time modernizing it. Trying to do some of both, Gerwig hopes to thank both parties.
Small women from a critical level get a recommendation from me. To a large extent, the film succeeds with an amazing cast, great production design and a score that often takes a back seat. For the ancients, however, the evolution of history may eventually prove too confusing for some. However, Gerwig has made an adjustment that will be difficult to overcome in the coming decades.