Postechian’s Pick: Little Women(2019)
Postechian’s Pick: Little Women(2019)
  • reporter Park Jee-won
  • 승인 2020.07.06 20:30
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▲A scene of Little Women(2019)
▲A scene of Little Women(2019)

 

Little Women(2019) is the seventh film based on a novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. Four sisters from the March family are the main characters of the movie, modeled after the author's sisters. While Alcott’s Little Women unfolds in a linear timeline, Little Women(2019) has two distinct timelines: the first is when the girls are teenagers, and the second unfolds years later as the sisters go about their separate lives.
It is quite dangerous to produce a film with multiple remakes of the original. The film has to follow the plot of the original and have a singularity that surpasses the strongholds of previous ones. Despite the risk, Little Women(2019) made a triumph of being nominated for six Academy Awards. How did Little Women(2019) catch the public's eye?
Alcott insisted on the improvement of women's rights and did not marry. The novel Little Women contains a sense of resistance to patriarchal culture during the 19th century. Alcott's persona, Jo reveals this resistance. Jo wants to overcome the economic inability to make a living without men. Jo also advocates not getting married, deploring novels in which women's ultimate purpose is love. The movie Little Women (2019) moves further from the original and contains links to feminism in the 21st century through the director Gerwig's persona, Saoirse Ronan. The film begins with a scene in which Jo negotiates copyright fees with a rude editor who is about to publish her first novel. This scene is not included in the original. From this scene, audiences can know Little Women (2019) is not just a movie about the lives of four sisters living during the Civil War, but also about women who are struggling to make money as artists without relying on male decisions. The movie also presented a new ending scene through a double ending. Like the novel, Gerwig draws Jo's romance, but she is not confined to a stereotypical happy ending. Instead, in the movie, Jo watches how her book is born, just like Alcott did more than 150 years ago. “Louisa May Alcott herself never married and had children, she also kept the copyright to her novel and became very wealthy and famous. I found it so fascinating that she can do something in her life that was still too progressive for a character”, said Gerwig in an interview. By giving Jo a new ending, Gerwig made the film a homage to Alcott's life. 
Besides Jo, there is one more person to pay attention to. It is Amy, the youngest of four sisters. Unlike the previous version of Little Women, Amy in the 2019 film does not complain that her nose is flat, nor is she the immature child with vanity. In the film, Amy is as enterprising and ambitious as Jo; she lives in Paris, France, following her dream of becoming a painter. If there is anything different from Jo, Amy is the most realistic person in the film. At first, Amy tries to marry a man she does not love for his money, because she is not talented enough to be a genius. However, instead of getting married, Amy compromises between her financial security and love, and eventually finds true love. It was only in the Little Women(2019) that Amy was portrayed as a clever character who knew what she wanted to do and what she could do.
Of course, messages about feminism are not the only reasons to watch the movie. The talented cast that drew attention even before the release of the movie also plays a part: Saoirse Ronan who collaborated with Gewick in Lady Bird(2018), Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet, etc. The costumes of the characters which won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design are also great to behold.


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