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Captioned: Little Women

Greta Gerwig

There’s a reason why Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel about the four March sisters has been adapted so many times for the big and small screen; Little Women is both timeless and timely. This latest version, adapted and directed for the big screen by Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), retains much of its intimate charm and also highlights how forward-thinking Alcott’s classic family story really was.

“Full of life, warmth... and contemporary relevance.”

At its heart, this is the tale of four women growing up in Civil War era America – sensible Meg (Emma Watson), spirited Amy (Florence Pugh), shy Beth (Eliza Scanlen) and the fiercely independent Jo (a luminous Saoirse Ronan). Their patient Marmee (Laura Dern) holds the family together while their beloved father is away fighting in the army. Each young woman is determined to live life on her own terms – Meg dreams of a home of her own, Amy wants to be adored, Beth simply wants to live quietly, and Jo has big ambitions to write and ultimate escape an ‘ordinary’ life. Tempers flare and ebb but these young women are always utterly devoted to each other. Their small family unit is shaped forever by their relationships outside their small circle from wealthy Aunt March (Meryl Streep) to charming next door neighbour Laurie (Timothée Chalamet) and the exotic Professor Bauer (Louis Garrel).

Shot on location in Massachusetts, where Alcott and her family lived, Gerwig was inspired by not only physical place but by late 19th century paintings as she weaved the colours and textures of the historical women through her film. The result is a film that feels full of life, warmth, emotions and most importantly, contemporary relevance about the challenges young men and women still face as they make their way in the world. We think Alcott would have approved.