LITTLE WOMEN - 2019 film

Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters - four young women, each determined to live life on her own terms.

Released: December 2019.

Director: Greta Gerwig.

Cast: Laura Dern | Emma Watson | Saoirse Ronan | Florence Pugh | Timothee Chalamet | Meryl Streep | Eliza Scanlen | Tracy Letts. 

Triggers/Content Advisory: N/A. 

Source: Rented. 

The cinematography is a missed opportunity. The shot of Jo running through the crowds at the beginning of the film is gorgeous, but the rest of the movie’s cinematography lacks artistic genius and creativity. The shots aren’t original. The lighting and angles don’t take advantage of the sets and characters, at least not as much as they could have. I expected more.

But I adored the costumes from the first scene when we see Jo. The dresses, coats, and even the colours of each piece are all stunning, and I particularly loved Amy’s wardrobe. I also appreciated how thoughtfully chosen each character’s wardrobe was; everyone has their distinct colour palette and style. It’s lovely.

The plot is hugely disappointing, and I blame the duel timelines for sapping the emotional weight out of the story. Yes, I still cried at You Know Who’s death, but otherwise I didn’t feel what Little Women is supposed to make you feel. The original story is so powerful, and you get so invested in these women’s lives, but when we’re constantly jumping back and forth between childhood and adulthood, the story’s emotional journey loses something. Add to that the lackluster dialogue (I’m so surprised, because it misses the shine, wit, and captivating subtext that Greta Gerwig usually brings to her scripts) and overall the movie is just tedious and confused.

The plot isn’t seamless, either. When we jump behind the two timelines, it doesn’t even jump at perfect places in the story. For a while, I found no clear reason as to why Gerwig wanted the story to jump in those particular places. 

Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet in Little Women

Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen in Little Women

Without a doubt, the cast carries the movie. Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet are sublime (I don't think I'll never get tired of seeing them act together), and Florence Pugh is radiant. She made me fall in love with Amy March. Her performance was a highlight for me. I also loved the chemistry between the cast; it's effortless and organic, and it's so beautiful to watch, too. 

Unpopular opinion: I wish Emma Watson had not been cast as Meg. I don't think she acts well, and I still wish the role had gone to the initial choice: Emma Stone. 

Little Women is a disappointment. While the cast is magnificent, the story structure and writing leave the movie boring and confused. 

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