Little Women (2019) leads an intelligent, profound story stemmed in a historical setting yet provides a timeless message. From the acting to the overarching plot, setting, and cinematography, the film demonstrates a level of authenticity that remains from the beginning right to the end.
Little Women follows four sisters as they start to develop their sense of belonging while trying to support each other. Set during the American civil war, the film jumps from the past that shaped their viewpoint on life to how they utilize those perspectives in their present day.
The film’s central character, played by Saoirse Ronan, is complex in her own right and it all flows rather well. The decisions that she makes throughout the film all come from the desire for independence and even the small acts come off as empowered, regardless of the restrictions towards her due to the time period. Emma Watson was serviceable but who stood out the most was Florence Pugh as Amy, whose range is shown in the characters maturing storyline which carries much of the story’s tone towards family while still adding to the feminism the picture invokes.
The cinematography also does wonders, adding a rich, encompassing setting to complement the characters rather than just being present such as many films. The comforting setting of the countryside to the richness that encapsulates Europe being contrasted to a developing New York City all reflect well compared to the directions the plot needs them to deliver. They could have easily rented two mansions and used a few dresses to tell the story they did, but the care that went into things from the setting to the props, add more to the impact the show has on the viewer.
And the ending itself is a bit abstract but in a way that stays true to the tone, the film itself goes for, carrying a great closure to any desires the audience has at the end. It provides that warming ending that most casual viewers want while hinting at a more profound interpretation that other audience members were hoping for.
Little Women does a profound job of spinning many different plates at once while still holding true to the themes set out at the start. From most of the cast’s brilliant acting to the beautiful shots helping the tone of the film to the great subtleties that give grace to a powerful story, Little Women is a tale that should be heard by anyone who can hear it.