I will presume to speak for many men of my generation to admit that both my literary and movie resumes contain a whole when it comes to the classic tale originally written by Louisa May Alcott.
Yes, when I was growing up and for decades thereafter, <em>Little Women</em>, taken the cue from its title, was taken by many boys and men to be mainly for the female gender.
Yet in this age of learning and enlightenment, I decided it time to take the Blu-Ray home from the shelves of the library, sit in the living room with my dear wife Karen, and catch up to what I’ve been missing.
With Greta Gerwig directing and writing the screenplay based on the classic novel set in the Civil War era and a cast that includes Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Eliza Scanlen and Florence Pugh as the four March sisters, I figured this 2019 reboot would have a lot going for it.
Gerwig shuffled the deck, it turns out, opting to dart around Alcott’s original narrative to put her stamp on it. (It certainly helped to have my dear wife on board to plumb her memory of her youthful reading.)
I was able to follow along this story of a quartet of sisters bound by love of family, dedication to purpose and an endless drive to find out more and more about themselves.
Ronan surely shines as writer Jo, looking every bit of the part of someone who sweats her words and gnaws at every editor’s suggestion for change to make a story either A) Better or B) more saleable to the masses.
Watson stands up as the eldest sister who makes certain sacrifices, and Pugh earns admiration as Amy, the middle one who battles Jo for the affections of neighbor Laurie, the rich boy next door who grows up into something much, much more. Timothee Chalemet works his acting wiles to makes us understand how Laurie could be so close to both siblings.
For added oomph, Laura Dern really feels like the mom to all four of the siblings, and, wow, Meryl Streep as the older aunt?!
Gerwig, who showed how much she knows about the mind and soul of women now with her direction in <em>Ladybird</em>, follows that up with a wise touch on this classic, too.