Little Women Review
Emma Watson as Meg March
Timothée Chalamet as Theodore ‘Laurie’ Laurence
Florence Pugh as Amy March
Eliza Scanlen as Beth March
Laura Dern as Marmee March
Tracy Letts as Mr. Dashwood
Bob Odenkirk as Mr. March
James Norton as John Brooke
Louis Garrel as Friedrich Bhaer
Chris Cooper as Mr. Laurence
Jayne Houdyshell as Hannah
Meryl Streep as Aunt March
“Little Girls” is based upon the 1868 novel by Louisa May Alcott.
During the Civil War, the patriarch of the March family is away at war while daughters and his wife must make ends meet on their own. Their mother leads them. Jo March is the sisters’ spirit and an aspiring writer. Meg enjoys acting and longs for a family of her own. Amy March wants to marry for money and focuses on celebrity. Finally Beth is selfless and a talent.
They develop from childhood to womanhood, as the March girls face the trials and tribulations of life on their own. As they venture out on their own and their personalities will steer the course of their own lives.
“Little Girls” is rated PG for thematic elements and brief smoking.
OK, I will admit that”Little Girls” is not exactly a picture that typically appeals to me. I typically prefer movies with apes and explosions in them. But”Little Women” is one of my wife’s favorite books and I owed her later dragging her to every Marvel movie and Star Wars film this year. But while it was I was pleasantly surprised by this film.
To start, the cast is phenomenal. Every celebrity has a moment to shine and brings a special touch to her personality. Most notable for me is Florence Pugh as Amy March. I am continually amazed by the versatility of this actress. This year she played with a wrestler in”Fighting With My Family”, a horror movie victim in”Midsommar”, and she will play a Russian spy in”Black Widow” next year. To see her in corsets and frilly dresses in”Little Women” is a significant change for her, yet she is equally believable in every function. Here she is boy crazy, she and her sister fight, and takes advise from her spinster aunt. Her performance is one of the more fun ones.
The spotlight is on Saoirse Ronan as Jo March and she does provide a fine performance as well. Ronan stays a bit more in her lane as a spirited, aspiring writer character. Jo embodies a number of the characteristics of Louisa May Alcott, so she is the heart of”Little Women” in several respects.
Emma Watson plays. What makes her fun is her interaction with the other actresses, although it’s not a stretch from her characters of Belle or Hermione Granger. There’s real chemistry between them and as they play the sisters, they appear to be having fun. Early in the role Meg is theatrical and funny, but as she gets older she is weighed down by life’s burdens and her duty as a wife and mother. Watson handles those transitions between the phases of her character .
The rest of the female cast is impressive. Eliza Scanlen and Beth March play. Beth has talent and is compassionate. She interacts well with the other sisters and Laura Dern who plays Marmee March. Dern is excellent as well and makes a matriarch for these women. There’s a bit of her. Then there’s Meryl Streep as Aunt March. Because the two are opposites both have one drive — survival her interaction with Pugh’s Amy is amusing.
While the guys are all currently supporting characters in this story, they hold their own. Chris Cooper is memorable as Mr. Laurence. Right before watching”Little Women” I watched Cooper in”A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”. It was a dramatic transformation for Cooper between the two functions and it was nice to see him as a great guy in”Little Women”. I love him in”Better Call Saul” so it was really a change to see him overwhelmed by four daughters here, however he manages it well. Timothée Chalamet is good as Theodore’Laurie’ Laurence. While we see the young woman’s transition to adulthood, we also see him grow out of young man into adult. His scenes with Pugh will also be memorable.
I asked my wife, a”Little Girls” fan, what she thought of this film. She enjoyed it quite a bit. She noted that the storytelling format was interesting. It’s told in a series of flashbacks. The flashbacks follow the novel while the scenes in day reflect more of Alcott elements. You see the real contrast in the characters as they grow and mature. She enjoyed the fact that the story was not overly sappy, a issue with some of the other adaptations of the novel.
I honestly don’t have any complaints about”Little Women” besides it’s not my cup of tea. It’s well acted, it has production design, and it’s a adaptation of a classic novel.
The Bottom Line:
If you’re a fan of any of the cast or writer and director Greta Gerwig, I think you’ll want to check out”Little Girls” in theaters. Fans of the Louisa May Alcott novel also needs to be happy. And if, like me, your significant other wants to see the film, I think you’ll find it to be one of the classic literature adaptations that are more accessible.
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