Little Women: From A Novel to Film

little women - Andi Lamasuta

Writer: Yerin K.

Visual: Andi L.

Editor: Sarah P.

There are always great risks and very high expectations imposed on directors to put together a remake film from a timeless literature classic. Director Greta Gerwig perfected that challenge with her film “Little Women”—original novel by Louisa May Alcott—by successfully capturing the industry and society during the time when it was written, specifically the unfair gender discrimination that women used to face.

Not only did Gerwig manage to capture the many expectations of women during the early 1860s, including marriage, struggles with poverty, and women’s rights that Alcott painted into the original story, Gerwig also was able to input her own revisions to the story, effectively enhancing the story to be entertaining, but also including those topics that Alcott wrote about. Joe March, second eldest of the March sisters, is the most ambitious sister out of all the girls; she expresses her opinions and protests against the societal repression of women throughout her journey to become a writer. Her character in the novel had an acute understanding of the unfair treatment of women in the workforce, societal norms, etc. when she is scoffed at or never taken seriously about her dream job as a writer and rather urged to marry a rich man. Gerwig decided to reveal at the end of the movie that the story of “Little Women” was written by Jo March herself, and that being her successful ending rather than her finding a man to marry. This change showed a better understanding of Jo’s accomplishment and the hardships she had to endure to reach her goal because of gender discrimination. 

While this movie gave Gerwig the recognition she deserved, the film was also a big breakthrough for the actors cast in the film as they showcased their incredible acting and adaptation. Well known actors from Emma Watson to Timothee Chalamet, who had wonderful performances as eldest sister Meg March and handsome Laurie Laurence, Saorise Ronan (Jo March) and Florence Pugh (Amy March) were up for the Oscar awards Best Actress in Leading Role and Best Actress in Supporting Role.

The movie itself was nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Music Score, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Costume Design. The hype for this movie and the recognition it received are well deserved, as “Little Women” was able to perfectly capture the essence of this classic story and win the hearts of audiences internationally.