Little women, big reviews

Courtesy Theatrical Release Poster

Courtesy Theatrical Release Poster

Abby Blackmore

The 2019 adaptation of “Little Women” hit theaters on Christmas day and was met with great praise on Rotten Tomatoes with a rating of 95% fresh, along with sparking award show nomination buzz.

Written for the screen and directed by Greta Gerwig, the film follows on the four March Sisters growing up in the Civil War era. The film highlights all the sisters but focuses primarily on Jo and Amy’s story, played by Saorise Ronan and Florence Pugh, and their relationships with Laurie, played by Timothee Chalamet. This is the fourth film adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott book of the same name.

Little Women has already gained award show recognition by receiving two Golden Globe nominations, five BAFTA nominations, and just announced 6 Oscar nominations including Best Picture.

The film differs from other adaptations because Gerwig dropps the viewer straight into the middle of the story. Gerwig starts the movie while Jo is living in New York. She then switches back and forth between the girls’ adolescence and seven years later in their adulthood. The use of lighting, along with costumes and makeup, helps the viewer differentiate the two different periods in the girls’ lives. Gerwig not only took inspiration from the book but also reflected much of Jo’s character off of Louisa May Alcott’s personal life. She also took the liberty of not ending the movie with Jo getting married, but by having her publish her own book.

Keeping to the New England feel of the movie, Gerwig chose to film in multiple locations in central Massachusetts; where Louisa May Alcott wrote the book. While some sets, such as storefronts and the March house, were built to match the era, much of the New England fall landscape was untouched, drawing in the viewer with the bright foliage and rolling hills.

Overall, the film kept to its older roots while also making this adaptation modern and relevant to today.