Greta Gerwig‘s unique adaptation of Little Women is a late addition to my favoritefilms of 2019. The movie doesn’t open until next week, but Gerwig and stars Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, and Laura Dern gathered to break down one of the film’s whirlwind scenes in a new video. Check it out to see what happens when the March girls enter the Laurence home for the first time, and to get the rundown on Chalamet’s vest game in the movie.
This scene is a great representation of something Gerwig pulls off very well throughout the movie: having the March girls roll through locations like a hurricane, all talking at once and giving a real feeling of life and vitality to any place they touch. It’s a complicated thing for a filmmaker to achieve without it feeling too chaotic, but Gerwig is always just on the right side of that line.
I also love the bit about the coloring of the costumes, especially the subtle aspect of Laura Dern’s costume containing elements of all of her daughters’ signature colors since she’s a combination of all of them and such an important figure in their lives. My first thought when walking out of the movie was how amazing and perfectly selected this cast was. Every single one of the actors does outstanding work, but big ups in particular go to Ronan’s Jo, Chalamet’s Laurie who has some real young Christian Bale energy here, Dern’s Marmie, and Florence Pugh‘s Amy, who has much more to do in this movie than any other adaptation of this book that I’ve seen.
Gerwig’s version tweaks the structure of the story, which may throw off some hardcore fans of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel and/or the many previous film adaptations, but I found the end result to be a fascinating remix which enhanced certain plot points because of how they could be juxtaposed against things that happened earlier on the timeline. The plot is the same, and the movie walks this wonderful balance of having an impassioned point of view it puts lots of focus on the difficulty of women being able to make money for themselves while living in this Civil War-era patriarchal society and also being a big warm hug of a film, pulling you into a cozy world of snowy Christmas seasons, homespun plays, writing stories by candlelight, and familial bonding.