Little Women (2020) by Greta Gerwig

There is a simple beauty to this film that captivates one’s attention and imagination. The story follows four sisters as they navigate through life towards adulthood. It looks at love, marriage, sisterhood, family, the role of women in society and artistic freedom without ever feeling melodramatic. The characters are so well crafted and their situations so simple (yet elegant), that one does not feel like the author has set out to attack those who might hold opposing views. Views such as women’s role in society. Instead, it feels as though the author is acutely aware of the opposing views and instead of challenging them, simply shows that change is possible. Even though I agree with her views wholeheartedly, one can’t help but appreciate the effectiveness of this nuance.

Compare this to say a modern film that has an all female star cast, and it becomes instantly apparent that the modern narrative is trying to market/sell feminism as just women being men as opposed to women being humans with their own variety of personalities, motivations and desires.

Of course, I say this as if this film is not modern. Directed by Greta Gerwig, ‘Little Women’ is the latest adaptation of the classic book. Gerwig and her star cast have done a phenomenal job of portraying these characters and their domestic lives. Every actor brings each character to life in an absolutely enthralling manner. There is not a single poor or forgettable performance in the film. Gerwig captures the beauty that is found in simple acts such as Christmas dinner or the printing of a book. Furthermore, the costume design and the music are consistently stunning and charm one throughout.

The film does feel dialogue heavy, often prompting the eye to wander as there is nothing on screen that demands its attention. This perhaps its biggest shortcoming as one would expect a film to be viewed, not heard. One could argue that this is a result of me being conditioned to watch fast paced media. That is hard to argue with but as I enjoyed the film even though I heard more of it than I saw it, I think it’s a point we can gloss over.

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