Movie Review: Little Women

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Columbia Pictures

"Little Women" follows the life of a distinctive, hopeful woman and explores the heartwarming, yet intricate ties of family.

Ashley Yung, senior editor

I’ve long been a fan of the director of “Little Women”, Greta Gerwig, ever since watching her star in “Frances Ha” and her directorial debut with “Ladybird”. 

Gerwig fascinates me as an actress and director, but I admire her most for her screenwriting. 

To me, her dialogue is emotional, powerful, rhythmic almost, and unexpected. 

However, Gerwig often finds her inspiration in the mundane and is known for her role in independent films that seem almost autobiographical. 

Gerwig delivered this literary adaptation in ways I didn’t know she could. I could see clearly in her film all the traits I love about her — her attention to dialogue, her creation of flawed yet beautiful characters, sense of interpersonal relationships, and evocation of a wide range of emotions. Yet, “Little Women” was more than her previous works, more intentional and more all-encompassing. 

Later, I would learn about how Gerwig’s genius was evident in all parts of production. Her costume choice was keenly in tune with each character’s own personality. Her cinematic color palette indicated the passage from innocent youth into weighted adulthood. 

But as a writer myself, once again, what I immediately noticed and fell in love with Gerwig’s ability to tell a story. 

I especially loved how she took the creative liberty to rewrite an empowering and thought-provoking ending, one that spoke to modern-day women. 

Like always, I loved Gerwig’s dialogue because it was content-driven. It was almost poetic, different from the novel yet it maintained the beloved voice of Lousia May Alcott. It was a homage to it’s source while still bringing new layers and contemporary nuances. 

This time, my interaction with the characters was different than when I read the book at fourteen because at its core, “Little Women” presents women and different stages of their lives, with different hopes and aspirations. 

To me, that is why the story seems universal as it stands the test of time. 

Each girl embodies a different part of womanhood and a different era of one’s life. 

Now, at seventeen, I feel so much like Jo, or at least, she reminds me of who I would like to become. As a writer, I think every day about what it means to tell my singular story, to cast a lense on incredibly humanized women and to uplift a community as Gerwig and Alcott have uplifted young women. 

“Little Women” was intimate, familiar, and bittersweet.

Quick Take: Humanized, emotional, and necessary portrayal of people.