Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author’s alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig’s take, the beloved story of the March sisters—four young women each determined to live life on her own terms—is both timeless and timely. Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.
The picture that emerges is of four women looking back with affection at how they became who they are. It is also one of a world where the dailiness of women’s lives—their discoveries, sacrifices and anger, their financial, artistic and domestic concerns—deeply matters. What does it mean to take the reins of your life when so much that happens, from a crack in the ice to a mistimed letter, is out of your control? And how does that look to four sisters with four divergent dreams?
These are the questions Gerwig brings to the fore in a visually ravishing film with a look inspired by the bold artists who were changing the way people saw the world in Alcott’s time. The questions feel modern, yet it was Alcott who latched onto these oppositions that still stop us in our tracks: money vs. art, love vs. personal satisfaction, ideals vs. real life, caring for family vs. finding your own voice.
Directed by Greta Gerwig. Screenplay by Greta Gerwig. Based on the Novel by Louisa May Alcott. Produced by Amy Pascal, Denise Di Novi and Robin Swicord. Executive Producers are Adam Merims, Evelyn O’Neill, Rachel O’Connor and Arnon Milchan.
Little Women will be released in theaters nationwide on December 25, 2019