Greta Gerwig‘s warm & cleverly penned adaptation of Louisa May Alcott‘s timeless novel is proper cinematic eye-candy – lavishly lit & beautifully costumed, featuring an energetic ensemble cast, a who’s who in young Hollywood, but I had an uneasy feeling throughout of something essential missing in this intoxicating brew. I only figured it out when I left the theatre. Little Women (2019) is a purely ephemeral delight, no matter its earnest depiction of the female predicament, all until very recently, and still current in many a place.
It’s a tough call adapting a novel, as well as remaking beloved cinema classics, and while the seemingly seamless flashbacks (and forths) work up to a point, somewhere mid picture they quickly turn gimmicky, burdening the telling of the tale with dizzying switches in chronology.
Episodically brilliant, it has too many stitches in the narrative quilt, its often rushed sentiment suffocating the genuine moments of resonant emotion. But it does have a thing or two to say about love.
What an undoing it can be, what a triumph it is.
Just watch a spirited Saoirse Ronan, as author’s wild alter ego, gaze upon her published work. Or a wise Florence Pugh, as the pragmatic younger sister, gaze at her man.
Author: ©Milana Vujkov