Little Women (2019 Movie Review)

Here’s the thing. I’ve listened to the audio unabridged Little Women so many times that I feel a certain ownership, almost as if I wrote it myself. So if I sound a little possessive of the characters in my review of the 2019 adaption, that is why! I humbly consider myself to be rather an expert on the subject of the March family.

She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable.
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

First of all, I just want to give a shout out to Louisa May Alcott. Her work is probably my absolute favorite novel. It’s rich and real. Anyone with a sister can likely relate to the journey of the March girls in a deep way.

If you’ve experienced any kind of disappointment with your hair or with love, or you’ve had a case of the January blues, then Little Women is your read. Or even if you want to travel Europe or (oh forbid) you work for Aunt March or you can never find anything to wear.

Let us be elegant or die!
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

(Above quoted almost weekly by me.)
The 2017 Little Women

I do understand that no film will ever match my imagination and can’t include every detail of the heartwarming story, but my favorite visual retelling so far is the British 2017 BBC series. Maybe I’ll write about that some other time.

However, today I’m here to review the 2019 Little Women screenplay that’s in theaters right now! Without further ado:

The movie was in a flashback style. I attended the showing with people who weren’t familiar with the story, and so it was was confusing for them and thus this distracted me who can’t bear the characters be misunderstood. Taking just myself into consideration, the flashback story line was a refreshing way to revisit the classic. Oh my, but at times, it was pretty heavy when all the bittersweet parts stacked up in a short time frame. Oh, the emotion!

I loved the NEW things this film pulled from the book (the book is so full of richness that all adaptations are able to highlight new facets). For example, it showed the scene where Meg wants to buy the silk fabric with money she doesn’t have to spend. I also loved that it drew out the sisters’ theatrical plays. The movie greatly honored the author side of Jo (paralleling Alcott’s life) which I dearly appreciated. (PS. It NEVER gets any easier to forgive Amy for burning Jo’s manuscript.)

I loved the cast! Each actress warmly captured the girls of my imagination. I thought a couple times that Marmee came across as too modern and Amy as too old in the flashbacks.

Now, concerning Laurie (or Teddy). I read a review that described him as a “wistful, bereft orphan” (Lorilee Craker) and while I agree (he has an artsy, moody side), I believe that to stay true to the book he should also be portrayed as manly, not just boyish and romantic. He was truly their BROTHER and not obviously in love right away.

“That boy is a perfect cyclops, isn’t he?” said Amy one day, as Laurie clattered by on horseback, with a flourish of his whip as he passed.
— Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)

Teddy (the author’s original) is a hearty lad who manfully eats Jo’s terrible dinner and thrashes boys that don’t call him by his preferred name. He’s stormy and mischievous by turn and takes fencing lessons. This 2019 actor irritated me several times, and I thought his lectures from Amy especially well deserved (extra points for including Amy’s before-and-after drawings of Laurie to illustrate his changed nature)!

I’m thankful the screen writer certainly read the book, and I both loved and hated how she interpreted it (depending on the scene, and I had opinions on each–SHOCKER, I know).

During the two hours, I cried, laughed, both judged the interpretation and swelled with triumph and pride of my friends, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy and Teddy. Above all, this endearing movie compelled me to re-listen to the American classic for the dozenth time.

I’m in chapter 22 and am having a “capital time.”

I want to do something splendid…
Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead…
I think I shall write books.
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

7 thoughts on “Little Women (2019 Movie Review)

  1. I just saw this film as well and am ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE WITH IT and all things Alcott right now. Can you recommend any more Alcott novels? I see she wrote several but I’m not sure which most closely align with the revolutionary coziness in Little Women (I have read Little Women and its sequels already). Suggestions appreciated. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jill,
      Thanks for your comment! I think you’d really enjoy “An Old Fashioned Girl.” I did!
      “Eight Cousins” and “Rose in Bloom” (its sequel) are charming stories, too. Let me know what you think of them. 🙂
      Abigail

      Like

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