By David Lee Zamora
Special to the Parade
Little Women starts off as a fun peek into the life of the March family during the Civil War, for the first few minutes, then like a professional boxer, the film starts to hit you with incredibly raw and emotional blows to the heart, leaving you dazed and emotional, out for the count.
I was really putting off watching Little Woman over the last three weeks. This is for a number of reasons: one being that I’ve been seeing its preview before every movie I’ve seen since I’ve started reviewing films, thus making me not want to watch it out of annoyance, and because it’s practically a slice-of-life film, and those can be hit or miss. For example, the God-awful Downton Abbey film that made me regret taking this job the entire time I was watching it, or it could be like A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and be a great watch. Thankfully, Little Woman was really great. Its characters felt so real, in the way they interacted and fought. Almost everyone had their own personalities that made them stick out and they weren’t one sided. This is due to the great writing and acting, making the film fun to watch, even when it takes the inevitable turn for the worst.
Like mentioned earlier, the film focuses on the March family, mainly the four sisters Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) during the Civil War. When the film starts, the sisters are living their own lives, separated from each other, with Jo living in New York as a writer and teacher; Meg is married with children; Amy is living in France; and Beth is at home with her mother, for reasons that I won’t spoil. Little Women tells how they moved apart by—at times, very confusing—flashbacks that take up most of the film. Towards the end of the film, the flashbacks and the present start to get somewhat hard to differentiate, due to the sisters looking exactly the same in both the past and present.
Little Women’s acting is top notch, with Saoirse, Florence, and Timothee Chalamet (Laurie) being the best actors of the cast. Their one-sided love triangle is the best part of the film, and that’s odd for me to say, because I usually hate love triangles in films, but this film handles it differently than most. You see, Amy loves Laurie, but Laurie loves Jo, unfortunately Jo couldn’t care less, due to her independence. Simple, right? The difference between this love triangle and and most is the incredibly real and raw acting between the three. The way they fight is filled with ugly exchanges that sting and bite deep, but lead to the characters growing more mature in the way they handle future problems. This often reminded me of fights I’ve been in with my siblings, which made the film feel all the more real and relatable.
I wouldn’t say this film was the best, or even better than A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, but it was definitely enjoyable and told a great story.