“Little Women” marches in triumph

Greta Gerwig's breathtaking rendition of the classic tale exudes heart

The film, released on Christmas day, is still showing in multiple theaters in the area.

Brooklyn Vegan

The film, released on Christmas day, is still showing in multiple theaters in the area.

Daniel Lackey, Editor In-Chief

In the wake of her 2017 film debut “Lady Bird,”  acclaimed director and screenwriter Greta Gerwig proves yet again that her vision and film-making genius deserves all the respect it can get—especially as a female director swimming in the midst of a male-dominated industry. 

“Little Women” draws upon the Louisa May Alcott’s beloved source material that traces the lives of the four March sisters in Concord, Massachusetts during and after the Civil War. As the fourth major adaptational attempt (let us ignore the 2018 flop set in the present-day), the outcome brims with warmth, poignance and delicacy.

Gerwig successfully inserts her phenomenal ensemble cast amid lush cinematography and set pieces that accurately depicts the time period as well as the book. Saoirse Ronan (Jo March) and Florence Pugh (Amy March) drive the film from start to finish, reflected by their Oscar nominations (Actress in a Leading Role and Actress in a Supporting Role, respectively). Their performances echo long after the movie ends, and if you need a reason to see the movie twice, they would fit the bill. 

Ronan, who earned her third Oscar nominated for her role in “Lady Bird,” embodies the second eldest sister with masterful vigor and depth that only she can deliver. Ever since her first Oscar-nominated role in 2007’s “Atonement” at the age of 12, her talent has escalated to a powerful and admirable degree. As the years go by, she continues to assert her position as our generation’s Meryl Streep—a reign that shouldn’t end anytime soon. 

Pugh, known for her role in the 2019 A24-produced horror “Midsommar,” deftly maneuvers from childish behavior to sophisticated regality as the movie alternates time periods, stealing practically every scene she recites a line in. Already winning “breakthrough” awards left and right on state and international levels, Pugh is one to watch. 

The glorious score by composer Alexandre Desplat, a previous Oscar winner for his music for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Shape of Water,” captures attention once the first note strikes. He brings just the right amount of emotion to the film’s main points and adds a beautifully resolute touch at the start of the credits. 

“Little Women” is a gorgeous, amusing, entertaining and, above all, memorable two-hour experience that can appeal to all—period-piece fanatics and movie-goers alike. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 95 percent and with box office earnings exceeding $100 million, this merited film is a roaring achievement. 

 

My rating: 4.5/5