Little Women (2019)

Little Women (2019)

Rating: 4.85/5

Greta Gerwig's Little Women is a near masterpiece, full of impeccable performances and cinematography, and should not be missed.

In the years following the Civil War, the unconventionally outspoken and spirited Jo March (Saoirse Ronan), is desperately trying to make it as a published novelist, but is struggling with finding publishers who will take her work seriously. She knows being a writer is what she is meant to do, but living in New York, so far away from home, she finds herself missing her sisters, Meg (Emma Watson), Beth (Eliza Scanlen) and Amy (Florence Pugh).

When an unexpected letter arrives, she rushes home to be with her family. As she takes the journey back to Plumfield, she begins to reminisce about the lives of her and her sisters. Thinking back to the time during the war, and of all the struggles, loss, and love that happened along the way.

When I first heard they were going to be remaking Little Women, I definitely had reservations, because the version that came out in the '90s is without a doubt one of my most beloved films of all time. However, when I saw the first trailer for this film, my curiosity was definitely peaked. As the opening scenes of Little Women (2019) began to unfold, I had to forcibly stop myself from making comparisons. I didn't want my love for the Winona Ryder adaption to cloud my judgement of this version, so I did my best to clear my mind and look at the 2019 film with a fresh perspective. Within ten minutes, not only was I able to prevent myself from juxtaposing the two films, but I was able to take in the endless beauty that came from Greta Gerwig's Little Women.

One of the many things I loved was how the storyline refrained from being completely linear. This allowed for the movie to be its own entity, and show there are so many ways to tell a classic tale, but still be respectful and true to its cherished source material. The only drawback to this would be, if you were unfamiliar with the plot of Little Women, the jumping around of the timeline could make the story a little difficult to follow, but considering I have lost count on how many times I have relived this tale, I found no trouble in getting completely wrapped into the lives of the March family. Greta Gerwig was able to capture this timeless story, but perhaps make it more accessible to a newer audience, one who may not gravitate towards the slower pacing found in many classic literature adaptations.

Jo March is one of my absolute favorite story heroines, and to be honest, before seeing this film, I couldn't think of anyone embodying this character as wonderfully well as Winona Ryder did, but then I saw Saoirse Ronan take on the role. She may not completely surpass Ryder's performance, but she comes tantalizingly close. Ronan may be one of the finest actresses to grace the big screen within the past decade or more, and if she is not nominated for an Academy Award for this film, then I really don't know what it takes to be considered for an Oscar. Seldom have I seen a performance as transformative as Ronan's take on Jo March. She is able to bring forth the tenacity and strength that is needed for the character, but still, show the well of emotions that live just beneath the surface of her fearless exterior. If Ronan is to receive the nomination, which I am most certain she will, I will be waiting with bated breath as they tear the envelope open on awards night, hoping to hear her name get called for the Best Actress win.

Little Women (2019) is one of those films where I am anxiously awaiting to go back to the theater, not just to watch the movie in its entirety again, but also to be able to once again see the small moments in it that stuck with me after the credits rolled. I can't wait to see Jo and Laurie, played by Timothee Chalamet, dance on the porch outside or to watch Jo run through the streets of New York with the excitement of selling a story. It is these brilliantly done cinematic sequences that help to make this film one of the best movies I have seen all year. If I could find fault with it, which is hard to do, the only thing I would have to say is that in the flashback scenes, I had a hard time believing Amy to be as young as she was supposed to be, but other than that, this film was practically perfect.

Though I don't think Greta Gerwig's Little Women will ever replace the love I have in my heart for its '90s predecessor, it has certainly cemented its spot in my mind as one of the most beautifully made films I have seen over the past few years. I will without a doubt be seeing this in the theater again and without question be watching it countless times for many years to come.