It would be hard to go wrong with a cast that includes Laura Dern, Meryl Streep and Saoirse Ronan. Throw in director Greta Gerwig who teamed up with Ronan for 2017’s Lady Bird a film about the turbulence of adolescence that won 2 Golden Globes, and you have the makings of a classic take on Little Women, the 1868 semi-autobiographical novel by Louisa May Alcott about four sisters Jo, Meg, Amy & Beth, that tackles themes such as domesticity, work, and true love, and their relationship to each character’s individual identity.
Saoirse plays Jo March one of 4 girls being raised by Marmee (Dern) while Father March is away fighting in the US Civil War. As the film opens in 1868, Jo negotiates the publication of a short story in New York before returning home to be with her ill sister Beth, before the story jumps back to 1861 to give us some background.
The film is nominated for two Golden Globes and features in many “best of the year” round-ups, having released in the US for Xmas. The first half an hour of the film feels a little uneven in tone as it covers much ground as it sets up typical life for the four sisters, before jumping back and forwards in time as events unfold. The performances are wonderful & the story stands the test of time proving its relevance almost 150 years on from publication. My 12 year old daughter loved it so much she has already seen this film twice, and we’ve bought the book.
4 Stars – “A Triumph”