Little Women: A review of the newest adaptation


Isabella Webb and Polina Barilo

If one trend has remained constant over the past couple years, it is the remaking classic films. Though there have been five previous adaptions of Louisa May Alcott’s acclaimed novel Little Women, a fresh take written and directed by Greta Gerwig was released on Christmas day this year.

Little Women follows the lives of four sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, portrayed by Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Eliza Scanlen, and Florence Pugh respectively) growing up in Civil War era New England. With their father away at war, the sisters live with their mother and over the course of the story they befriend Theodore “Laurie” Lawrence (played by Timothée Chalamet), the grandson of their wealthy neighbor. This coming-of-age novel is a commentary on economic class and gender roles in society as well as a heartwarming family novel.

The main factor that distinguished this adaption of Little Women from its predecessors was its unorthodox timeline. The movie starts seven years after the beginning of the novel’s plot, and switches between events during the girls’ childhood and adult life until the two plotlines catch up at the end of the movie. Although a creative and fun way to differentiate the movie, it did create some ambiguity when it came to the passing of time. Given that the same actors portrayed their character in both plot-lines, it is only natural that they didn’t look seven years older or younger.

Many CdM students have seen the movie since its release. When asked what she thought of the movie, Senior Cat Annerl said “I give it a 5/10. The book and the 1994 version are far superior to this film and the choice of actors is also better.” One anonymous senior said “I give it an 8/10. Heartwarming, touching, strong acting, inspiring, and emotional movie.” Another student, Senior Alyssa Cairns reviewed the film, saying “I give it a 7/10. I found the movie to be utterly breathtaking in its cinematography but it lacked the same in casting and plot. The celebration of sisterhood and romance was heartwarming to watch, but the movie was confusing to follow overall.”