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Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of ‘Little Women’ brings the iconic story to life for a new generation. (Photo via @jenyamato on Twitter) 

Film Review: Greta Gerwig’s brilliant cast and fresh perspective introduces ‘Little Women’ to a new generation

Since the publishing of Louisa May Alcott’s brilliant novel Little Women in 1868 and 1869, there have been multiple adaptations between film, television and theater. When Greta Gerwig announced she would be directing her own adaptation, audiences were skeptical about whether or not it would live up to any past adaptations and to Alcott’s classic novel.

The Lady Bird director easily put any worries to rest with a fresh approach to an overdone story that keeps the integrity of the novel while also introducing the powerful story to a new generation. 

Gerwig and the rest of the production crew could not have woven together a better group of four women to portray such timeless sisters. Eliza Scanlen and Emma Watson as Beth and Meg March bring such an elegant and lovely nature to their respective roles. Scanlen, as expected, wins the hearts of audiences as the kind-hearted Beth, but Watson adds a lot of interesting layers to Meg, a character who is often overlooked or deemed uninteresting in most adaptations. 

It’s Saoirse Ronan as Jo and Florence Pugh as Amy who truly steal the show. Ronan carries herself so highly with such an empowering energy that makes any woman watching want to go out and change the world. 

Pugh has a harder role as Amy, because she is notorious for being the most annoying of the sisters. However Pugh, with Gerwig’s direction, finds a way to humanize the character and truly showcase the character growth Amy has as she matures to a woman with her own thoughts, dreams and struggles. Though Amy still has her problematic moments, Pugh truly makes her as lovable as the other sisters. 

Of course the focus of the film is the four women, and understandably so, but it’s also important to note Timothée Chalamet and Laura Dern’s performances. Chalamet brings all of the classic adorable nature to Laurie, while also breathing new life into the character. Dern’s performance of Marmee dives deeper into the character, not only showing the caring and motherly side, but the side of Marmee that’s human and trying to survive, as well as keep her family afloat.

However, a cast can only do so much for a film. The costumes, set design and camerawork of the film are all exquisite. There is no detail left forgotten, and though every scene keeps the integrity of the original story, it’s all completely fresh and exciting to watch. 

Simply put, Gerwig’s vision of Little Women is nothing short of genius. The 1994 feature film starring Winona Rider as Jo has been the modern measure for every other revival. So far, none of the renditions of the classic have been able to surpass that feature film, until Gerwig’s 2019 film. Without trying to copy other adaptations or make it wildly different from the source material, the film keeps its integrity while providing the audience with copious amounts of originality and brilliance. 

@rileyr44

rr855317@ohio.edu

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