I’ve always been a fan of Greta Gerwig. When she came out with Lady Bird in 2017, I absolutely loved it. So much so, that it was my favorite film of the year. Saoirse Ronan is such a talented actress and top three going today for me. So what happens when you add Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, and Laura Dern? You get a highly entertaining film based on a literary classic. A great final film of 2019.
The film is based on the book by Louisa May Alcott and is about a group of sisters who grow up together through years and learn lessons about life, love, death, womanhood, and the bond that keeps them united through the years. Jo March (played by Saoirse Ronan) also looks to find success in her writing and attempts to get her memoirs published. Most importantly, the film stars young charmer Timothee Chalamet.
I read a lot of people had problems with the time jumping. I had no such issue. I think it was easy to tell when the film was going back and forth by the contrast of the picture (the memories were brighter and more yellowy orange) while the present was more blue. You can also tell from the hairstyles, especially that of Florence Pugh. I liked the narrative style that was implement by Gerwig, the story which has been adapted many times needed to be fresh for this modern audience.
The performances all around are great. There are humorous elements to most of the characters, especially that of Ms. Pugh. Ronan is fabulous as she pretty much always is and the script does not let the characters down. Its sharp and witty and has the right amount of emotional weight that it needs to. There are somber moments here as the sisters deal with a close death and the range of emotions is handled well by the actors and by Gerwigs direction.
The costume design, cinematography, and set design all feel incredibly authentic. Its a period piece and it feels like it comes out of the era. I don’t know how closely the film follows the book but I’d suspect from the positive reviews there hasn’t been too many big differences. The film handles its wintry elements well in addition, you can see why this was a holiday release.
You would think that Greta Gerwig has been making films for years and years from the way this film looks and feels. Its crazy to think this is her second work and that she just burst out behind the camera two years ago. Its a warm, expertly crafted film that keeps it light hearted while dealing with a lot of struggles and tribulations people go through in their lives. An excellent way to close out the year. Now stay tuned for my top films of 2019 post.