Four sisters try to live their lives on their terms in post-Civil
War America as they navigate the trials of womanhood.
Little Women (2019)
Written and Directed by Greta Gerwig
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern, Eliza Scanlen, Timothée Chalamet, Chris Cooper, Meryl Streep,
Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Tracy Letts, Louis Garrel
Remake of 1933's Little Women, 1949's Little Women,
and 1994's Little Women
Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott
Oscar Wins - Best Costume Design
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat)
I had little to no interest in seeing Little Women. I wasn't familiar with the story and I wasn't impressed by Greta Gerwig as a filmmaker. I didn't enjoy Lady Bird and I only saw this film because it was the only Best Picture nominee of the 92nd Oscars that I hadn't seen. So, suffice it to say, anticipation was low. But this is a hell of a story and Gerwig tells it with a modern, yet classic flair that makes Little Women more relatable than it's ever been. The cast is all superb, the score is playful and brilliant, and the story is empowering for young women but speaks to anybody who is truly dedicated to seeing their dreams through.
Jo March (Ronan) is an aspiring writer who has no intentions of ever falling in love and marrying, as she doesn't want to let marriage get in the way of her writing career. Her sisters, Meg (Watson), Amy (Pugh), and Beth (Scanlen) all have dreams of their own that turn out very differently. Young Laurie (Chalamet) is in love with Jo, but she can't love him back. It's all very melodramatic, but the cast delivers the story with such vigor and dedication that I found myself thoroughly invested almost from the start. Plus, I had no idea Bob Odenkirk would be playing their father, and I love that guy to death. As the film progresses, we get to see how every character has had to make compromises in life in order to settle for acceptable happiness, including Jo. If that doesn't scream relatability, then I don't know what does.
Greta Gerwig was the right person to tell this generation's Little Women. Her take on the way the story was told helps this version stand out from previous ones (of which there are a ton). While I disagree with parts of the ending, that's more of an issue with the actual story than it is with the movie. Plus, it just proves to me that I have grown to care about this story and how it is told, and that is the very essence of smart filmmaking.