Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” Reaches New Generation

by Lisa Davis on December 23, 2019 in Entertainment, Lifestyle,
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“Little Women” is more than a story of feminism—it’s about determination, the love of friends and family, but mostly, it’s a story of an unbreakable bond between sisters.

The vision Louisa May Alcott had when she wrote “Little Women” is being told at last in Greta Gerwig’s film adaptation of the beloved classic novel. The “Lady Bird” writer and director successfully merged the essence of both the book and Alcott’s writings into an amazingly captivating and poignant movie. 

“Little Women” was Alcott’s response to a publisher’s request for a book that would appeal to young female readers. As a result, girls became inspired by Alcott’s loosely-based personal narrative, which was set in a world where girls were beginning to have far more choices and fewer limitations in their daily lives.

Jo March, played by Saoirse Ronan, was the alter ego of “Little Women” author Louisa May Alcott who wrote the book loosely-based on her own life with her three sisters. Photo courtesy Fons PR

The revered story of the young, independent March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, who were determined to live life on their own terms, remains both timeless and timely. The star-studded cast is secondary in Gerwig’s adaptation of the 1868 novel, which was considered a visionary masterpiece, a belief that continues more than 150 years later.

Meryl Streep plays the March sisters’ wealthy, pessimistic, but endearing Aunt Josephine, Laura Dern is Marmee, the March family matriarch, Bob Odenkirk is the March sisters’ father, and Timothée Chalamet plays the adorable Theodore “Laurie” Laurence, the March family’s wealthy, handsome and charismatic neighbor.

Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) and Theodore “Laurie” Laurence (Timothee Chalamet) shared a mischievous friendship from the beginning. Laurie was wealthy, handsome and admired by all the March sisters. Courtesy photo

From the opening scene, it is clear this will be a story centered around the limited opportunities available to women during that time. Set in the 1860’s, the film unfolds in Concord, Massachusetts from the perspective of Alcott’s alter ego and classic heroine Jo March, played by Saoirse Ronan, as she reflected on her life which was riddled with defining and irreversible moments. 

As the youngest March sister, Amy March (Florence Pugh) had a school girl crush on the devilishly charming Theodore “Laurie” Laurence (Timothée Chalamet), who was in love with
Jo March from the moment he first met her. Courtesy photo

Gerwig plays with the novel’s original timeline and is therefore able to dive deeper into different aspects of each sister’s life. By cutting to specific moments in their childhood, the audience is able to make the connection between the crucial and distinguishable crossroads they encountered in their past to the consequences they now faced in their present lives. 

Emma Watson, (left), Florence Pugh (second left), Saoirse Ronan (second right), and Eliza Scanlan (right) make up the all-star cast of Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of “Little Women.” Courtesy photo

For fans concerned the film can’t possibly live up to the brilliance of Alcott’s novel, rest assured the hype surrounding Gerwig’s “Little Women” is well-deserved and well-placed because this movie does indeed outshine its predecessors. If Alcott were still alive today, I’m confident she would be truly proud and approve of how the March sisters’ lives turned out and the women they became in the end.

Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” is in theaters Christmas Day.

Cover: Florence Pugh (left), Saoirse Ronan (center) and Emma Watson (right). Courtesy Fons PR

Lisa Davis lives in Austin and is the Editorial Assistant for Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Concordia University Texas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations.