“Life’s too short to be angry at one’s sisters.”
There’s a hunger out in the world right now. One that craves for women to be equal to men in more ways than one. Too often do we find our young women searching for those idealistic heroes that flash before us on the silver-screen. And while we’re implementing them one at a time, there could still more. Little Women, directed by Lady Bird’s, Greta Gerwig, makes that idea more of a reality. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s novel, the story follows four young sisters (Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy) through their childhood, and into adulthood, as they endure both joys and sorrows with each other. With the written word, mischief, and their love for one another, each young woman defies the typical female stereotype, and in doing so, builds a stronger, sisterly, bond. There may not be exciting fight scenes, or any amount of CGI, but Little Women is full of the heroes so many of us women, both young and old, should look up to.
The array of talent that envelopes Little Women is impeccable from beginning to end. The always talented Saoirse Ronan takes the reigns of Jo March, once held by the likes of Katherine Hepburn and Winona Ryder. Ronan never waivers under the pressure of portraying such an iconic character. Her poise and independence shines through as she fully brings Jo to life in different ways when in comparison to her predecessors. The chemistry of the cast is so well done, and perfectly casted. There’s not one underutilized character in the whole film. Timothée Chalamet is Laurie, the young neighbor who falls in love with Jo’s spirit and vitality. There’s a piece of him that loves the March’s homelife, and sense of family, that lacks in his own. A counter story that makes the March sisters relationship, so much more unique. With an A+ cast to round out the supporting characters, such as Emma Watson’s, Meg, Laura Dern’s, Marmie, or Meryl Streep’s attitude ridden, Aunt March, there’s a piece of something for any audience member to sink their teeth into.
The story of Little Women has been done time and time again. And though I may discourage the overuse of reboots, or retellings of a story, it’s hard to dislike this version. Little Women was first made in 1933. Then again in 1944, and in 1994. Thus, bringing us to this modern take. Frankly, a film that has been done this many times over has the issue of overstaying its welcome. But the retelling of Little Women’s beautiful story is what makes these adaptations so relatable even after many years. Little Women can be retold and retold, because of the many layers the story has. Every woman’s perspective can lead to a different take on the characters, and the ones they feel personally close to. Gerwig’s adaptation encourages each woman to examine these characters, and to embrace who we truly are and what we want in life.
I’m sure that this won’t be the last time we’ll see an adaptation of Little Women. No, I’m sure we’ll see it again with another cast of incredibly talented young actresses. Through Gerwig’s direction and writing, along with a talented cast, this new take is exquisitely done. Though I may still favor the Little Women from 1994, I can only hope that a new generation of young girls can be taken aback by this story that keeps resonating with us after 150 years.
Written and Directed by: Greta Gerwig
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep