Little Women (1994)

Film reviews are subjective. I tend to rate films not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

Little Women (1994) from Columbia Pictures
Rated PG. Drama, Period Film, Romance, Family Film

Description (from the film case): With her husband off at war, Marmee (Susan Sarandon) is left alone to raise their four daughters–her “little women.” There is the spirited Jo (Winona Ryder), conservative Meg (Trini Alvarado), fragile Beth (Claire Danes), and romantic Amy (played at different ages by Kirsten Dunst and Samantha Mathis.) As the years pass, the sisters share some of the most cherished and painful memories of self-discovery.

My thoughts (maybe a little spoiler-ish if you’ve not seen one of the movies or read the book): The cast, the costumes, the score–all a triumph. It takes genius for a film less than two hours long to make a viewer feel like she’s really lived all those years with the characters. No, I’ll never be totally reconciled to Laurie’s “switch over” from one little March woman to another (a deliberate and, I think, stubborn choice on Louisa May Alcott’s part), but, strangely, it doesn’t make me love the story less.

One of those rare occasions when I saw a film before reading the book it’s based on, and an even rarer occasion when I love the film and the book equally, despite their differences. And that’s saying something, since Alcott’s novel is one of my all-time favorite reads.

My corresponding reading: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.



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