Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 14th, 2020
The 19th century novel penned by Louisa May Alcott has been adapted in numerous forms since it was first published. Personally the 1994 film is my favorite, but this new film from Greta Gerwig is a welcomed adaption that shows that Gerwig is a talented force to keep an eye on. Little Women is one of those stories that have entertained me over the years, despite it being a story that appeals to a radically different demographic. Even in my teens when I first discovered the story, when I was obsessed with horror films and reading the newest King novel, when I was required to read the story for class, what started as a reluctant task I was doing for a grade, by the time I finished the book and watched the 1994 film in class, well, I found myself smitten with the March family. I was a bit cynical when it came to this new film. Even with it getting all the critical attention I was still hesitant. Really, if it wasn’t for the quarantine, I’m not sure if I ever would have given this film a chance. Despite my reluctance, I’m glad this film found its way into my hands. The most noticeable change that Gerwig has made to the film is by telling the story in a nonlinear fashion. For those who are not familiar with the story, this won’t be much of a problem, but in some ways I feel this kind of cheats the story out of some of its emotional moments, both good and bad. In deciding to tell the story this way, I do appreciate how Gerwig went ahead and gave the film a visual style to help the audience tell what is a flashback as compared to a more current moment. The moments where Jo (Saoirse Ronan) seems to be looking back, there is warmth in the visuals. With Jo taking the front-and-center role as she struggles with being a writer while juggling her relationship with her family, there are moments where we have to question how reliable she is with her dreams and memories. One of these moments that stands out involves her sister Beth (Eliza Scanlen) as she struggles with scarlet fever.