Anyone of us, willy-nilly, at some point in life came across the title "Little Women" or in his sequel "Little Women Growing Up". Whether it was for an obliged vision at the home of an old aunt, for a badly imposed reading in middle school, or thanks to the wonderful citations of Scrubs, we all arrived in these new 20s with a knowledge (however ephemeral) of the existence of May Alcott's masterpiece.

So the question arises: after so long from the publication of the novel (152 years, to be precise) and after so many transpositions, podcasts, theatrical productions and poems, did Little Women really need further film adaptation?

No, I would have said not long ago.

Absolutely yes, I feel like saying now, fresh from the vision of the splendid direction of Greta Gerwig.

The four sisters March

The new version of Little Women starts with the four sisters March - The masculine and rebellious Jo (Saorise Ronan), the methodical and maternal Meg (Emma Watson), the sweet and shy Beth (Eliza Scanlen), the vain and haughty Amy (Florence Phug) - forced to live with the consequences of their lifestyle choices:

Jo is isolated in New York and tries to make her way into the literary world, Meg even if she got married for love she finds herself living in poverty, Beth continues to get sick and to be a very poor girl, while Amy finds herself disappointed by her art and he took with love never completely eradicated for Laurie (Thimotée Chalamet), their high-ranking childhood friend.

So far it would seem that the turn of the film wants us to concentrate solely on their adult lives, and instead everything changes, transporting us to seven years before these events, allowing the viewer to observe the bond of the sisters grow with them and their aspirations make their way from the end of childhood to the onset of their adult life.

A new way of telling "Little Women"

I firmly believe that what makes this adaptation different from all the others is the way in which it exudes freshness, while remaining within its historical context.

Gerwig managed to make vibrant, alive and colorful characters that in many other adaptations had been so pleasing, but always rigidly anchored to their status as a historical character: we manage to identify ourselves in the sometimes disproportionate generosity of Marmiee (Laura Dern) and in the conservative arrogance Zia March (the never out of place Maryl Streep), but also you can understand the moments of despair and goia, fun and quarrel of the four sisters who are still children.

Gerwig's direction has grown incredibly since Lady Bird, a narrative skill that almost manages to bend the historical period in which the story is set to its style, without ever leaving the lines or neglecting its accuracy.

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Critical issues

Ok, maybe the Uggs were a risky choice as late 800th century footwear, but I think we could all turn a blind eye for this time and ask ourselves why we should never put a YELLOW scarf on a lilac-colored dress (and use that combination also for promotional photos, mon dieu)!

The only suspension of judgment is on the choice to keep the same cast both to represent the child sisters (an age spectrum ranging from 12 to 16 years) and their adult versions (from 19 to 25 years): the skill of the actresses is such not to make the suspension of disbelief necessary to digest this thing too difficult, but you can never completely remain indifferent in front of a twenty year old who behaves like a twelve year old girl, or an almost thirty year old Emma Watson who runs from her mother crying because they ruined her hairstyle.

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Despite this flaw (highly questionable, of course) the film flows so pleasantly that I still feel compelled to recommend it to everyone, book lovers or firm opponents of the period drama: let Alexandre Desplat's music guide you through the splendid photography of Yorick Le Saux, while our beloved and rebellious Jo returns to question the role imposed on the figure of the woman, Meg learns to live with modesty in exchange for true love, Amy changes into a strong woman full of moral values, and Beth ...
Well.
I can't tell you everything, right?
Good vision,
MC