CONCORD - Last week, I was able to review the new crime thriller from Adam Sandler and the Safdie Brothers, Uncut Gems, thanks to its ties to the scene of Boston culture. This week, I am equally excited to be reviewing Little Women, a new period drama that filmed many of its scenes in Massachusetts!
And as much as I loved Uncut Gems, I have to say that Little Women is a strong contender for my favorite movie of 2019 altogether! Seeing the film in theaters, it provided one of those experiences when I felt a huge smile spread across my face as I realized about one-third of the way through the movie that Little Women was going to be an all-time favorite film of mine for the rest of my life. That's the best feeling in the world and nothing can provide it like cinema.
Little Women is as many knows, an adaptation of the famed Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name about the four March sisters who come of age during and after the Civil War era. This new adaptation comes penned and directed by Greta Gerwig and stars Saoirse Ronan as Jo March, Emma Watson as Meg, Eliza Scanlen as Beth, and Florence Pugh as Amy. Timothee Chalamet, Meryl Streep, and Laura Dern round out the supporting cast.
And wow, everyone is operating at the height of their filmmaking powers throughout Little Women. It was a perfect confluence of talent that came along at the right moment for everyone in their careers.
As someone who loves the original book, I have to say that Watson was perfectly cast as Meg. Scanlen was subdued as Beth, but they gave her a valuable edge that can seem lacking in the book. Actor Timothee Chalamet helped me care about the Laurie character like I never had before. But Pugh and Ronan take the film to the next level with their star performances. Amy found newfound depth thanks to Pugh's empathetic turn and Ronan is, for my money, the greatest actor of her generation.
As for Gerwig's handling of the film, I want to commend her for how smart she was every step of the way. The choices she makes are unbelievable and the envy of my literary mind. To limit myself to just one choice to gush about, I want to remark about how she shakes up the chronology of the book to instead group the movie's scenes by theme. It is so effective for me in the sense of how it tells a story of loss and growth in the face of unthinkable change and painful love. That's what Little Women is all about.
I'd love nothing more than to see everyone rush out to the theaters to see Little Women, a period film that is gorgeously contemporary. It is directed and written by Gerwig and produced by Columbia Pictures, Regency Enterprises, Pascal Pictures, and Di Novi Pictures. It has been distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures and is now playing in a theater near you.
Image via Flickr/Aussie Mobs