Little Women: A Cinematic Masterpiece


Ruby Harris, Reporter

Little Women, a literary classic along with a popular story for movie adaptation. The newest of which is nominated for 6 Academy Awards. So just how good was it really? From the cinematography to the costume design this iconic piece of literature has been turned into my personal favorite movie as of late. And here are some of the reasons why Little Women is my favorite movie of the year. 

Released on December 25 , 2019 the screenplay written and directed by Greta Gerwig takes the classic story of Little Women and turns it into a magical experience that you get lost in for hours. The film is a beautiful take on the novel by Louisa May Alcott that generations have grown up reading. With both childhood and adulthood intertwining throughout the duration of the movie, Greta Gerwig herself explained that childhood was shot with a specific filter to give it a golden glow while adulthood has a colder feel that makes it easier to differentiate the two plot lines. Through the work of the camera we can see the closeness of the characters. It has a very cozy feel that makes you want to grab a blanket and a friend. Another aspect of the film that made it were the costumes. Each daughter has a color. Jo is red, Meg is green and a little lavender, Beth is pink and brown tones and Amy is pastel blue. If you want more info on the costume design check out this article interviewing Jacqueline Durran, the costume designer: click here. Every little detail from glove to scarf we can see the characters’ personality throughout the movie. Jo’s red represents her temper and bravery and even Laurie played by Timothée Chalamet had a hand in styling his own costumes says Durran. 

Another amazing aspect of this film was the all star cast with appearances from Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and some great leads played by Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson and Timothée Chalamet. The cast has a natural connection and throughout the movie you could feel the chemistry between every character. One of the things I noticed that really struck me was the ending. SPOILER ALERT AHEAD: In the beginning of the film Jo goes to see a publisher about her new book and while the publisher is interested, he tells her that if the main character is a woman she needs to be married by the end as was proper back then. Towards the end of the movie Jo seems to be falling in love with Friedrich Bhaer and this sets up the possibility that she will indeed get married. But in a plot twist the book ends and it cuts to the present at her publisher. Jo insists that no woman needs to get married as she has been against it her whole life, but in spite of her efforts the publisher urges her to change the ending, therefore we see Jo get married in the end. This little act of defiance, and a simple but mall plot change made me rethink how I have thought of the story previously. Jo is a true feminist and this really showcases her spirit. 

The movie as a whole is a modernized take on the classic story we know. It shows the true meaning of family, love in any form, even heartbreak but in the end we get a satisfactory conclusion to the ageless story of Little women. Greta Gerwig uses every element of storytelling and cinematography to make a new masterpiece for the new decade. This film deserves a solid 10/10 and is definitely a movie I recommend you watch or take anybody regardless of age