Director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) gives a slightly updated take to one of my favorite books, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. She stays true to the book and previous films by keeping all of the spirit of the characters and lush look of the New England setting in tact.
The Marsh family lives in MA, the nineteenth century and consists of mother Marmee (Laura Dern), father (Bob Odenkirk) who’s away fighting in the Civil War, daughters; Meg (Emma Watson), a quiet girl who loves to dress up in beautiful clothes, Jo (Saoirse Ronan), an energetic and determined writer of plays and novels , Amy (Florence Pugh), a pesky kid who gets on Jo’s last nerve but grows up to be a thoughtful beauty and the youngest, Beth (Eliza Scanlen), a shy girl who loves to play the piano.
Timothee Chalamet plays Laurie, Jo’s best friend who lives next door with his rich grandfather (Chris Collins). He’s very thin with a full head of hair that often takes on a life of its own. He seems younger than Jo, the girl he loves, but the playfulness and fun they have together on-screen appears real.
The story begins with Jo living in New York in order to try to sell her stories to a publisher. It flashbacks to when the girls were younger and then back again. Sometimes flashbacks interfere with the flow of the film, but it works here.
The costumes (Jacqueline Durran) are an important part of a period piece, and they also tell us a lot about these characters. Especially for Amy, who travels abroad with their wealthy aunt (Meryl Streep) and whose outfits become more sophisticated as she learns more about parties and leisurely days of art classes. Jo’s costumes also tell a lot about her. Mismatched prints, always looking a bit disheveled — she’s a person that has more important things on her mind, than to bother with fashion.
Jo always was a woman who knew what she wanted and was determined to get it, all on her own if need be. However, Amy also grows into a much more self-assured young woman. The cast is spot-on, the acting is great and the scenery is beautiful. Its everything I remembered and more. Its even more romantic — and that’s a good thing.