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  • Writer's pictureMax Markowitz

Little Women

Exhilarating & Limitless

The internal spirit of womanhood has a very particular and very exhilarating limitlessness. It is a limitlessness that is not defined by society, morals or even gender. Greta Gerwig’s Little Women is an epic celebration of that limitlessness. Little Women follows the lives of four sisters, Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth March (Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen) as they come of age in Massachusetts in the aftermath of the Civil War. All of them are so different from each other but they all own their own originality. They stand by each other through times of struggle, heartache, and change.

Timothee Chalamet, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern, and Meryl Streep co-star. The chemistry of the cast is the best of any film this year. Individually, they are just as enticing. Ronan, Pugh, Dern, Cooper, and Streep are the most memorable. They are the “flawless five” as I now call them. Little Women has a run time of 135 minutes and in that time frame, the essence of what makes them all so unforgettable graciously presents itself.

The sister’s chemistry but that of Ronan and Pugh especially felt so touching and so real. They are completely believable as related blood. There are funny pranks and petty arguments along with heartfelt affection and overwhelming joy. They do so much growing up but that special candlelight inside them never burns out.

Ronan was born to play Jo. Ronan has that clever wit and determination mixed in with her intelligence and strength to hold her ground. Pugh gave Amy the voice she's never had in any other adaptation. There's so much that goes into her that makes her who she is and who she is, you'll treasure tenderly.

Laura Dern is devoutly humble as their loving mother but also sincere and very wise. She's given some of those wonderful monologues she's so perfect at delivering and the joys and sorrows of motherhood, she catches in her palms and releases with refreshing grace. Chris Cooper portrays a wealthy neighbor who becomes a reliable family friend over the years. He's one of the lucky men of his time fortunate enough to have escaped the clasp of toxic masculinity. He's very gentle, very gracious and the sincerity of his affection for the March family does not go unnoticed. These are all people who were born way too early for their lives - except for Meryl Streep as Aunt March.

I'm fully confident a lot of audiences have a family member like Aunt March. She's very old fashioned and quite prickly but in a humorous way. She's like an elder family member you really only see on holidays whom you know never to discuss politics with. Streep really can do anything as even Aunt March is made lovable in my eyes. She's witty, feisty, hilarious and a jolly fun character. “I may not always be right but I'm never wrong,” she says.

Alexandre Desplat’s score celebrates all the moods the film possesses. The music speaks so loudly but not to the point we can no longer hear. The cinematography of the landscapes, houses, and furniture set up the stage Gerwig had in her talented head. Little Women could not have asked for a better writer/director than Greta Gerwig. Louisa May Alcott is sobbing with happiness from the heavens I'm sure. Gerwig took an American classic and embroidered it into old fashioned cinema with a realistically modern feel.

The structure of her script is brilliantly unapologetic with no sense of hesitation. She's created a structure that reminds me of pulling out baby teeth. It's often painful, but it's necessary and in the long run, makes great sense... Little Women is not without its heartbreaking moments but it's a much more happy film than I thought it would be. Gerwig showcases the excitement one can find in ordinary life.

Little Women is a dazzling portrait of empowerment that audiences of all ages should rush towards and I've never said that in any review before. Little Women is 2019’s most tender film. It's warm, loving and deserves massive Oscar nominations. The film did not get any SAG nominations and Ronan and the score is not nearly enough for a reasonably sized seat at the Golden Globes.

There are tons of articles right now regarding whether it has a fair shot at massive Oscar nominations. I'm sure that Little Women will get its fair day in court, but if not, audiences can at least take comfort in knowing the Academy will get slammed with controversy for it. Films like Little Women don't come out every day. I believe it is Hollywood’s everlasting sexism as to why this is so. Little Women is a magical cloud-ready to thunder and rain on any falsehoods that the film is not without doubt, intoxicatingly perfect. It's funny, inspiring, beautiful and designed to bring audiences of both genders together for a similarly enchanting experience.

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04 de jan. de 2020

Saw Little Women with my daughtr-in-law and my granddaughter. Three generations and we all loved it and found something meaningful in it. I think I have seen every film of Little Women but this is by far the best.

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