2019 / drama, romance / 2h 15min / rated PG / directed by Greta Gerwig, written by Greta Gerwig, Louisa May Alcott (based on the novel by) / country: USA / language: English | French

“In terms of sheer logistics, “Little Women” marks a huge step forward for Gerwig, who shows an aptitude for future studio projects without sacrificing her distinctive directorial voice. Cinematographer Yorick Le Saux sustains the Currier and Ives-like look of Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 film while plunging us further into the characters’ midst than any of the earlier adaptations. In the end, this latest version doesn’t have to hold up for 60 years.” -Peter Debruge, Variety

“It still has the cozy fireplace scenes and the long dresses. But the characters question social mores (“I’m sick of being told that love is all a woman is fit for,” says Jo, played by Saoirse Ronan), deliver critical context about the structural barriers limiting women (the economics of marriage, for instance, in which a woman’s earnings became property of her husband) and are at times flat-out angry at a world that, as the book puts it, in the words of the youngest character, Amy, “is hard on ambitious girls.” (It still is.)” -Jessica Bennett, The New York Times

“This is a film of considerable beauty and grace… (Jacqueline Durran’s costumes are superb throughout). Overall, the visual and tonal sobriety find the depth in the book, and give or take a few years, the film brings Alcott’s world close to that of Edith Wharton’s novels, placing it in the same social universe as The House of Mirth or The Age of Innocence. …Gerwig does consistently tell us what’s on her mind, and gets away with it. The debates about women’s place in society and marriage as an economic arrangement are made explicit in several dialogues, as are the arguments about female creativity—and Gerwig has Alcott to back her up. One key line of Jo’s—“I’d rather be a free spinster and paddle my own canoe”—was something Alcott herself said.” -Jonathan Romney, Film Comment

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