An intimate look into the lives of four very different sisters as they come of age in America after the end of the Civil War, shown over a seven year period.
Jo March is our voice throughout the story as we follow her on her quest to become a famous writer, or even a published writer in her own name. She had been writing small stories and managing to make money getting them published in the papers. She had a bigger plan than that though and was constantly working on a novel. She took the growing older thing very badly and could not bare when her older sister Meg was looking for a husband, she wanted her to act on stage and be amazing at it. Amy and Beth younger sisters looked up to Jo, but from Amy there was a lot of jealously and Beth was just lovely.
The story is told with a seven year gap which was nice to see how everything was progressing or how things had went very wrong. Quickly finding out that Jo had turned Laurie down in a proposal for marriage, which led her to New York and him to travel around Europe. Beth had been sick and would get sick again, after being the kindest and most helpful of the sisters. Meg deep into her marriage and wondering if she actually made the correct decision or not. Amy in France with her Aunt March and studying painting and attempting to decide what would happen within her life. Marmee March was an incredible figure and role model for her growing daughters especially with their father away during the war, setting an amazing example of how to be an extraordinary woman.
A lot happens and unfolds on screen and we are always given mainly Jo’s opinion around everything given she is our voice and the writer of the family. That did leave me with a lot of bias and wanting her to succeed, having this film in 2019 shows that some women have always wanted more than just to be someone’s wife. Now though that is perfectly fine and we don’t use the word spinster anymore, well at least I hope not as that is what I would be called! Anyway this is a very empowering film for women, not just because of Jo either but all of them. They each have different goals in life and love, showing that it is perfectly normal and fine to do and have that. Inspirational at times as well, especially about not judging others around you. Just think about how they were rather scared of Mr. Laurence when in fact he is a grieving father and now having his grandson Laurie living with him.
The scenes between Beth and Mr. Lawrence really were my favourites and brought a tear to my eye in all honesty. That actually happened a few times throughout the film, which can only be seen as a big compliment. It also contains so many moments that will make you laugh and smile, realising that we are all going to make mistakes and it often takes a while to really find yourself. It also addresses loneliness which has to be something to really talk about now with mental health links. Not forgetting ideas on love, I mean the ending is so conflicting and I cannot decide which parts made me happy and which made me utterly sad.
Something that cannot be denied is the outstanding cast that was brought together for this film. Considering it is adapted from a novel that has so many films, tv series and even made for tv films surrounding it this version really is extra special. Saoirse Ronan was the perfect choice for Jo and surely she should be around awards season with this amazing performance, to add to so many from her career so far. Last year she became one of my favourite current working actresses and I am so pleased to say that has more than continued with this one. Florence Pugh is another I have been super impressed with since seeing her breakout performance in Lady Macbeth! She has gone on to take on so many different roles and excels as the headstrong Amy. Emma Watson is given a smaller role as Meg, but charming throughout. Eliza Scanlen was a lovely surprised as Beth, I haven’t seen her in anything so far and will be looking forward to seeing her career develop on the back of this film.
Laura Dern is as wonderful as ever as the mother and I am actually thinking this performance could be more deserving of awards than her super small part in Marriage Story? It certainly has me thinking and wondering. Meryl Streep loves to be a scene stealer and does on a few occasions in this film, I cannot think of anyone better to play Aunt March? Chris Cooper, who I actually did not fully recognise. I mean I did recognise the actor but I couldn’t place who it was! Such a sad performance due to the character but he had some amazing scenes.
Timothée Chalamet is an actor who has been propelled to super stardom in the last few years and even though I have seen most of his roles I have been left wondering why to be brutally honest. However, I am now understanding more what everyone else has been seeing. He is very talented and manages to be so charming as Laurie, but also silly and the dance scenes are rather cute. He was super likeable as the character and that impressed me.
Greta Gerwig has started to do amazing things as a director this film following 2017s Lady Bird and I hope it long continues as she is giving viewers something to really think about in terms of female characters. Especially with the more modern character updates for this film, but still keeping it in the time period which is something that makes this film as impressive as it is (please get nominated for best director at the Oscars, please).
A powerful film makes a viewer go through so many emotions from start to finish, Little Women manages that and even more. It will inspire you and it will make you think about your own life and the choices that you made. As well as empowering you to push yourself to the limit.