“Little Women” Review


Actress Saoirse Ronan who plays Jo in “Little Women”

Bailey Langhans, Journalist

Louisa Alcott’s timeless classic book, Little Women has been made into 6 movies including the new adaptation directed by Greta Gerwig for a new generation of viewers. However, with so many adaptations of the classic tale, the new movie must be put into question of how it compares to the past retellings.

Overall it is hard to go wrong when producing this beautiful story. A few moments leave me in tears each time, no matter how it is retold. The film also did justice to the characters by choosing well-known actors that truly embraced their roles. The movie especially shed new light on Amy’s character. Out of all three sisters, I have always been a hard core Jo fan and so in turn I hated Amy. However, this movie really showed Amy’s point of view which makes her more understandable especially when considering the time period that she comes from. Her true perspective comes through in a scene where she explains to Laurie how women can’t make money and are owned by men therefore marriage is an economic proposition. This scene allows Amy to express why she wanted to marry rich and how choices were limited for women which allows viewers to understand her more.

On the other hand, The movie wasn’t all perfect. I have read the original book and seen a few movie adaptions of the tale so I have a lot of knowledge when it comes to the events of the film. Therefore when watching the film I knew exactly what was happening and even a bit more to what events in the book the movie referenced. However, due to the structure of the film, it may be confusing to those who are watching it for the first time. The film tends to jump around the timeline from when the sisters are young to when they are older, which is something different from previous adaptations. This may be confusing because it is sometimes hard to tell when they are switching on the timeline. It can get especially hard because they don’t have different actors for the younger versions and simply use filters and different hairstyles.

Although this structure does have some benefit to make parallels between the two different time periods. For instance, there is a parallel to compare when Jo comes down stairs to see her mother and Beth when she was young and when she came back home in the future. This makes the event more emotional, but also has the opposite effect on other events by seeing characters from the past before a change that be know happens in the future.

Despite some confusing parts of the film, it was overall an engaging and beautiful movie and did the book justice by starting it off with a quote by Louisa Alcott that said, “I’ve had lots of troubles, so I write jolly tales.”