Timeless classic ‘Little Women’ receives 8th film adaption

Kathleen Pothen, Copy Editor

Photo by Ava Hoelzel
Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel has had many different book covers as well as screen adaptions. The newest will be out Christmas day.

Director Greta Gerwig’s  second film “Little Women” comes out Dec. 25. The film boasts a distinguished list of actors, Timothée Chalamet, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern and Emma Watson. Along with the film’s score composer Alexandre Desplat, they ensure this movie will be a great adaption of a classic.

“Little Women” tells the story of four sisters growing up in New England after the Civil War. They grapple with sexism, illness, poverty and love.  The sisters rely on each other. Ambitious and independent Jo (Saorise Ronan) dreams of becoming a successful writer.  Beautiful and “perfect” Meg (Emma Watson) represents the ideal domestic woman for the time, along with quiet and subdued Beth (Eliza Scanlen). Lastly is the stuck-up artist Amy, (Florence Pugh).

There have been many adaptions and interpretations of this story. The newest starts from the middle of the novel when the girls are young adults. The film dives deeper into the complex themes of the novel, which are relevant today.  

The movie is promising because of its strong cast. Chalemet who plays Laurie in “Little Women” starred as the young Elio Perlman in the love story “Call Me by Your Name”, which earned him an Oscar nomination. Ronan starred as the  independent main character of  ̈Ladybird¨ alongside Chalemet. She also earned a Golden Globe for best actress for her performance.

Chalemet and Ronan, due to their aforementioned performances,  were chosen by A.O. Scott, co-chief film critic for The New York Times, and Wesley Morris, critic at large for the New York Times, as two of the top ten greatest performers of 2017.

Meryl Streep has had a long career filled with many awards for her diverse performances. 

David Sim and Eve Watling writing for Newsweek explain “If you’re looking towards Hollywood for class, elegance and acting with a capital A, you don’t have to look much further than Meryl Streep.”

“Today, there still aren’t that many female directors that get movies that are this big and especially since it’s a movie that, it’s a story driven by women, almost all the main characters are women. And I feel like I feel like it’s important that the director is a woman because she can almost relate to it more””

— Sherilyn Patterson

The music score is set to be composed by Alexandre Desplat. He is an acclaimed composer winning Oscars for “The Shape of Water” and “The Imitation Game”.

Senior Sarah Symalla expects the score to be gentle. 

The newly released dancing scene of Laurie and Jo is humorous and displayed a snippet of the score. In the scene a beautiful and lively string orchestral piece plays. This suggests a lovely score for the rest of the film.

This film is notable because of its director. Gerwig is one of a select number of female directors in Hollywood. Gerwig for her debut film  “Ladybird”, about an ambitious female protagonist, became one of only five women who have been nominated for an Oscar for best director.

“Today, there still aren’t that many female directors that get movies that are this big and especially since it’s a movie that, it’s a story driven by women, almost all the main characters are women. And I feel like I feel like it’s important that the director is a woman because she can almost relate to it more,” junior Sherilyn Patterson said.

Today, it is important for feminist stories to be told correctly. This is one of the most famous female driven stories from American literature.

It is important in Hollywood women roles are not just to provide beauty or to be the object of a male characters affections, as Jo tearfully explains in the “Little Women” trailer,  “Women have minds, and they have souls, as well as just hearts, and they’ve got ambition, and they’ve got talent, as well as just beauty.”

Through her previous work, “Ladybird”, Gerwig has shown she can tell these female empowerment stories.

Some may wonder why we need another version of this story. Symalla explains: “because it’s very complex, and it’s focusing on ideas that are maybe less well understood in this day because we have different traditions and we have different ways we treat women and different ways we look at women. And so each adaption is able to like focus on a different part or go deeper into something else and just get the full message across.”

Each version of ‘Little Women” explored a different part of the story and each adaption was made in a time which had a different attitude towards women. Because the story is so well written, almost every adaption which has stayed true to the source material is enjoyable to watch. The film comes out on Christmas Day, it is the perfect time to watch a cozy and nostalgic family film such as this one.