As soon as I heard that another film adaptation was being made of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women I was both overjoyed and a little apprehensive. I have loved the novel since I was a teen, and with that much love for a story, a film adaptation will be held within high expectations.
I needn’t have worried.
I left the cinema having gone through an entire packet of tissues, but for me that was inevitable. This adaptation of Little Women was beautiful. I was absolutely enchanted by the scenery and sets, each shot carefully crafted to show the point in Jo’s timeline that we following at the time. In saying this, it took a little while for me to follow the jumps in time, but not enough that it took away from my viewing and understanding of the film.
I was very happy with the casting. The character of Jo is such an important one for me and I think Saoirse Ronan fit perfectly in the role. The same goes for most of the rest of the casting, there was something strange to me about Timothée Chalamet in the role of Laurie. While I think he did do a wonderful job, there was something that I feel didn’t quite work. It felt to me like he gave the character a lot more life for the scenes set back when Laurie and the sisters were all much younger, within the scenes set further into the future there felt as if there was something missing.
I remember realising though, on my walk home from the cinema, that my perception of Chalamet’s Laurie was probably clouded by my love of Jo’s character and the idea of her as a free spirit. I feel like this idea negates my previous points somewhat, so I’ll have to do a re-read of the novel, as well as watch some of the other adaptations again to see whether it might be a different understanding of both Jo and Laurie’s characters to how I previously viewed them. I have a feeling this may have contributed to the way I saw Chalamet’s Laurie*.
My favourite thing about this film (as with other adaptations and the book), is the relationship between the four sisters. As someone with sisters myself, I know the feeling of feeling completely infuriated with them one minute, then loving them the next. It is always wonderful to see, and with the casting of the March sisters for this adaptation the sibling chemistry of both love and rivalry was tangible.
This film’s original score was beautiful. I have been listening to it nearly non-stop since I left the cinema. I can’t comment technically on the music itself, but to me it fit beautifully with the characters and the scenes they were in. It made the film a delight to watch, and really brought a lot to the more emotional scenes of the film.
Overall this adaptation of Little Women was a beautiful film which seemed to have been put together with a lot of care. It had a huge amount of heart, and was a true tribute to a story about family, love, and finding yourself in a world which isn’t quite ready for you yet.
*Watch this space, (if you’re interested that is), I have a feeling I will talk back to this idea in another post.