The new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women hit the big screen on Boxing Day. So, being a huge fan of the novel and previous adaptations, I grabbed a friend, some popcorn and settled in to see what this version had to offer and was not disappointed.
The film is a little shorter than previous versions at 2 hours and 15 minutes, but to be fair covers the same about of the story as the previous adaptation. Directed by Greta Gerwig whose previous credits include Ladybird (2017) and Greenberg (2010), the film boasts an impressive cast starring Saoirse Ronan as Jo, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, Eliza Scanlen as Beth all delivering brilliant performances. Emma Watson in some roles, can come off as annoying, but it must be said she plays the role of Meg both elegantly and with charm.
One of the things that makes this adaptation, so interesting is the fresh take on the original whilst treating the original with due respect (very well done). The story is told as Jo is reflecting on her life in a series of flashbacks all the key scenes are present including the very colourful ball scene with Meg, Jo and Laurie played by Timothée Chalamet. As well seeing more of Laurie father Mr Lawerence and Mr March (Father to the March girls) and it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t mention the brilliant casting od Meryl Streep as the wonderful Aunt March, Meryl Streep is made for the role, and delivers a very entertaining version of Aunt March as you would expect.
The film focuses on the emotional experiences of the girls, whilst still managing to inject the charm and joy the story is so famous for after all these years. With Jo as the focus we see much more of Jo as the caregiver and the rivalry between her and Amy. Although we do think you should get tissues free with your ticket as the emotions can get quite intense. There is a much stronger focus on the emotional interactions between the girls which leads to deeper exploration into their characters.
Jo remains the same free-spirited, strong, independent and charming character audiences have come to love over the years. As I writer I was both happy and impressed that in the final scenes of the movie we see Jo negotiate her publishing deal.