Each of us has been a small woman. The novel Little women, written in 1868 by Louisa May Alcott, was a hymn, the first, to girl power thanks to the figure of Jo, eager for independence rather than a husband at her side, and the three sisters, each his way, different from the stereotype of a woman of those years. Unforgettable the 1949 film, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, with a surprising June Allyson in the role of Jo, an unforgettable Elizabeth Taylor in the role of Amy (also thanks to that clothespin that she put on her nose to make it of perfect shape and size ) and a charming Peter Lawford as Laurie.
When news of yet another adaptation of this timeless novel arrived, by emerging director Greta Gerwig, some of the eternal “little women” had wrinkled their noses. Others, however, had rejoiced to see a cast so irreverent to give voice to the story that all women should take as an example to grow in an exemplary way. And the latter did well to think that this new dedication to the role of women, that of today, emancipated and modern, could work perfectly. Of course, the times of the first film are unbeatable and Mervyn LeRoy and Elizabeth Taylor are unforgettable, but the new entries in Hollywood are quite delightful and the “fold” of the moral of small women is unexpected.
There is Saoirse Ronan who is the heart of this film and, together with her, her friend and forever engaged to the big screen Timothée Chalamet, which brings a breath of freshness. There is the French charm (yes, French … not German) of Louis Garrel, there is an ironically austere Meryl Streep in the role of aunt March, a Laura Dern lovable as always and the three adorable sisters of Jo played by Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen. And there are four different models of women to identify with: Hurricane Jo, the manager Meg, the sweetest Beth, and the vain Amy.
What you will like, in fact, will be the narration of Gerwig, all new and on two different timelines well told with the sound of flashbacks that will make you evolve together with the sisters. A fresh, innovative and courageous new reading just like today’s small women who, compared to previous generations, are ambitious, tenacious and constantly eager to vent and overcome their limits. In short, women who want to create a story, theirs, with or without a partner at their side.