Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s American classic is brought to the screen in a daring, magical way that will leave the audience wishing it never had to end. What makes this remake unlike its predecessors is the way in which it is told. While most stories are told in a linear fashion, Gerwig tells the narrative of “Little Woman” through jumps between the present and the past. As the movie progresses, the jumps become smaller, tying everything clearly together by the end.
The audience first meets Jo Marsh, played by Saiorse Ronan, as she is apprehensively preparing to stride through the door of a New York publisher and pursue her passion for writing. Jo immediately makes herself known as a woman of ambition. Her mismatched clothes and disheveled appearance give her the look of an aspiring writer in the 19th century.
Jo takes pride in her refusal to be like other women of her time whose futures focused on marriage and children. This was made known immediately to the audience when it was revealed that Jo turned down a marriage proposal from her friend Laurie, played by Timothee Chalamet.
During her struggle to achieve a literary career in New York, Jo finds herself called home to Massachusetts to her sick sister Beth’s, played by Eliza Scanlen, bedside. Through flashbacks, the audience gets a depiction of what it was like for the pair growing up with sisters Amy, played by Florence Pugh, and Meg, played by Emma Watson.
Throughout the many flashbacks, we see how the sisters’ childhood plays become an inspiration for Jo’s storytelling later down the line. Each character strives to break free from the strains society holds on them. They are struggling in their own way to assert independence and create a future that they’ll be proud of.
Jo wants to turn her hobby of writing into a literary career in a society where her main focus should be on preparing to one day become a wife and mother. Laurie doesn’t want his sole purpose in life to be appeasing his uncle and his strict expectations. Meg marries for love rather than financial status and faces the opinions of those who believe she should have done otherwise.
“Little Women” is the type of movie that you can’t resist seeing more than once. For 2 hours and 14 minutes, I was taken to a period of time that was monumental for many reasons. Having a passion for writing myself, Jo has a fire inside her that no amount of criticism or doubt can dim. It’s the kind of energy that will leave a mark on the audience and inspire them to pursue their dreams.
This movie has the ability to break your heart and put it back together again. It has definitely become a favorite for me that I know I can rewatch and still experience the magic put into it. It isn’t a movie you will forget about after watching.
The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.