‘Little Women’: A Heartfelt, Uplifting Modern Classic

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Caroline Bryant, Staff

Ever since Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut in, Lady Bird, Hollywood has fallen in love with her. After winning 16 different awards- including 2 Golden Globes- this unstoppable woman is back with a new twist on Louisa May Alcott’s classic, Little Women.

The adaption follows the lives of the March sisters in Concord, Massachusetts. With their father off to fight in the Civil War, the four must learn how to live as independent woman. This isn’t hard for eldest sister, Jo March, aspiring writer and professor living in the big city. We see her values against the traditional roles of a woman evolve as the movie repetitively reflects from the present to seven years before.

Gerwig brings the emotional story alive with the help of her amazing cast. Saoirse Ronan, who took on the role of Jo, transferred her powerhouse energy from Lady Bird to bring out the Jo we know and love on paper to life. As a stereotypical, spunky, outspoken, rebellious teen, desperate for equality, Ronan creates a relatable personality that young girls aspire to be. She lets them know that it is ok to struggle, that it is ok to have insecurities, but most importantly, she shows that to be yourself and dare to be wild, or you’ll regret it in the long run.

Emma Watson, who we remember as iconic leading ladies Belle and Hermione Granger, took a surprising- yet refreshing- appearance as Jo’s refined, older sister, Meg March. Contrasting from her other roles, Meg yearns for a life full of dazzling dresses, nightly balls, and a rich husband away from her wretched farm life. Years later, however, Meg marries a poor math tutor, John Brooke, and learns that a life in lavish could never overpower the true love they have for each other. Though this is an unusual character for Watson to play, she certainly fits the part.

Amy March, played by Florence Pugh, is that sneaky little sister you never seem to escape. Her endless determination to steal Laurie’s heart away from Jo stretches on for seven years until she meets French suitor, Fred, during her stay in Paris to endure painting. Once she realizes her childhood love is a lost cause, Laurie makes a shocking confession to her: she is the one, not Jo.

Days later, the two get hitched in Paris before they return to Concord to honor the death of quietest March sister, Beth. Being the quiet mouse in a noisy family, the audience believed that Beth was frequently overshadowed by her three other sisters. Nevertheless, as the movie went on, we came to learn that Beth was one of the best. She supported her family through thick and thin and never failed to wipe a smile off her face.

Fascinated by the piano, Laurie’s grandfather Mr. Laurence always invited her to play for him. After years of friendship, the two evolved a special, father-daughter bond that comforted Beth during her father’s disappearance. Once she died, Mr. Laurence described her as a special gift to the world gone too soon.

As I sobbed leaving the theater, I realized how insightful the movie was. Unlike many teenagers, I, for one, am a huge fan of period pieces. Though I enjoy The Crown, there is something about this movie that makes you fall in love with everyone and everything about it.