Hey! If you're looking for the reviews for Knives Out, Marriage Story, Jumanji, Star Wars or 1917, you'll have to wait a bit longer! At the time of writing, I've just gotten home from watching Little Women and just had to put (proverbial) pen to paper about this one first, which could be a really good or really bad thing. Expect a review round-up for all of the aforementioned within the coming week.
As an extremely late entry into the upcoming film awards season, expect Little Women to be the frontrunner for nearly every category it gets featured in. The film chronicles a bustling, all-female led household in the late 1800's in a whimsical, yet grounded tale adorned with humor, wit, and self-reflection. Spearheaded by a rousing, multi-faceted lead performance by Saoirse Ronan, Little Women is sure to have at least a bit of something for everyone that's gracious enough to spend time with it. With an ensemble cast consisting of nearly a dozen crucial characters, Greta Gerwig once again showcases her ability to develop on-screen personas to no end, but this time, on an even grander scale. The likes of Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Timothée Chalamet (amongst others) are all provided a wealth of room to let each of their respective characters fulfill their arcs without bloating or otherwise causing unwarranted tension whenever story-lines overlap. While it'd be a bit 'easy' to say that there's one key that holds both the family and the film together, if there's ever one reason to watch this cinematic gem, it's Saoirse Ronan. Ronan not only weaves her character effortlessly in the threads of nearly every major plot point, but dazzles in her own overarching thread. You'd be hard pressed to find a lead that can show audiences the divide between talent and hard work, empathy and melancholy, to love and to be loved—but here, Ronan does it all. (For some extra-curricular work, I'd recommend checking out Gerwig's previous film, Lady Bird, to see how Ronan's lead performance has evolved in such a short period of time!)
Aside from the near-perfect performances given on all fronts by (basically) anyone featured in the film, the overall visual and audio presentation is top notch. The original score fades in and out like the rising tide, and costume design is everything from elegant to practical. Colors are deliberate and strategic in the way they communicate moods and emotions, as well as time. I've said in the past that the strongest feedback that I could give to a film stands in duality with its greatest compliment: I wish there was more to see. However, stepping back and thinking about each character's individual story-lines, where they started, and eventually where they'd end up, there's honestly not much left to be answered. But therein lies (I suppose) the point I'm trying to make most. As interesting as each key development in the story was, the ways in which each individual waded through the waters of their own insight, affection and apprehension, came the real beauty of what the film had to offer. And I wanted to spend so much more time seeing each of the characters interact with one another.
If I had to review the film in passing, I'd describe is as a lovely film. But, as Little Women oft reminds viewers in some facet or another, love has many interpretations. However it is you end up taking in what the film brings to the table is surely to leave you with joyous emotions in return.
1-2: Horrendous, wouldn’t recommend watching even if free of charge.
3-4: Potentially has some good ideas, but overall still lackluster.
5-6: Average, a decently good time; go see it if it's free.
7-8: A solid recommendation, and well-rounded film; warrants a purchase after home release.
9: No glaring flaws; deserves to be watched multiple times.
10: Masterful, must-see; filmmaking at its finest.