Saturday, December 28, 2019

[Review] Little Women

Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep, and Timothée Chalamet make up the magnificent cast in director Greta Gerwig’s compassionate and appreciative retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel Little Women

Set in Civil War New England, the timeless plot revolves around the March sisters and their family trials and tribulations, personal ambitions, potential romances, and life complications. 

There’s a certain type of film that falls into the “What a lovely film” category and Little Women is definitely one of them. The story waltzes and twirls along with wonderfully likable and well-drawn characters. Greta Gerwig carefully and lovingly orchestrates the classic material with the warmth of a crackling fire amidst the dead of winter. The film is beautifully shot with winsome period costuming against the lush backdrops of old-fashioned country homes and handsome landscapes. There are so many exquisite images in this film that you could slide into a picture frame and set it upon the mantel. The musical score flows with elegant keys and delightful flourishes that make piano dust dance. 

The chemistry between the cast is superb, and the performances are great all around. Like she did in films like Brooklyn and Lady Bird, Saoirse Ronan impressively leads the way and embodies the central character of “Jo” with depth, dimension, and remarkable emotional range, proving that she is indeed one of the best actresses of her generation. Florence Pugh gives a stellar supporting performance as Amy, the spitfire sister extravagant tastes. Timothée Chalamet is terrific as the close family friend “Teddy” in a charming, heart-on-sleeve turn. 

Little Women is endearing cinema at its finest. It’s a thoughtful exploration of sisterhood, artistic craft, and getting what you want out of life. At one point, Laura Dern’s character declares “Pretty things should be enjoyed.” That’s certainly true about this film. 

* 9/10 *

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