Little Women (2019) Blu-Ray
Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the classic tale, Little Women, arrives on blu-ray this week. If you missed out on this version, now’s the chance to rectify that. Learn more in our full review!
For those counting, this marks the seventh adaptation of Little Women, but for what it’s worth, it’s easily my favorite. The story follows on from the classic mid-1800s novel of the same name, though it’s a bit different this time around.
The story follows the coming of age story around four sisters, Jo, Amy, Beth, and Meg as they navigate life, love, and family hardships. While the story elements are pretty much the same as what’s come before, the film sets itself apart in how it tells the story. Instead of a linear story, the film jumps between times.
We start off with all of the women being older, leading their separate lives. As their sister Beth’s health continues to worsen, they are drawn back to their childhood home. The flashbacks fill in the gaps from what we see, almost a way of telling the story in reverse, as it builds to Jo ultimately opening her own school and finding success in retelling the story of her and her sisters’ lives.
It’s a unique way of presenting the story, and it’s handled with incredible care. There’s no confusion within the time jumps, and the breaks in which they happen are so in line with the story in general, it feels incredibly natural. Even if you know this story, this is an undeniably fresh spin on it. Not only does it breathe new life into the characters, it manages to modernize the tale in some interesting ways.
Couple the story direction with some all around incredible acting, and there’s a lot of reason to check this version out. It still hits all the right emotions while bringing in a good helping of whimsy and delight. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of period piece films, I can’t deny the powerful effect it had on me while watching.
It’s just a ridiculous amount of fun and its storytelling approach makes it engaging even on the rewatch. So if you caught it in theaters, rest assured, it is still just as good on blu-ray.
Sight and Sound
Little Women is an exceptional looking period piece film. From the locations, sets, and costumes, everything exudes the feeling of this particular era. It’s incredibly well done and the blu-ray transfer makes it all stand out. The image is sharp, with every character popping up in crisp detail and highlighting the amount of detail put into bringing this story to life.
The sound is equally well presented here as even minor background sound effects help transport readers to this period of time. The transfer sounds great and doesn’t intrude on the dialog (of which there is plenty). All around, the technical aspects of the blu-ray are solid.
The Bonus Features
Little Women on blu-ray comes with a DVD copy of the film, a digital copy insert, and these special features on the main disc:
A New Generation of Little Women: The superb cast recreated the beloved world of the March family with realism, humor and vulnerability
Making a Modern Classic: The film combines its modern elements—kinetic camerawork and overlapping dialogue—with the historically authentic bespoke costumes, sets and locations
Greta Gerwig: Women Making Art: Go behind the camera with Writer/Director Greta Gerwig, discover her process and how she applied her own style to the story
Hair & Make-Up Test Sequence: A lovely showcase featuring the outstanding costumes, hair and make-up crafted for the film
Little Women Behind the Scenes: Take a quick look behind the scenes on the set of LITTLE WOMEN
Orchard House, Home of Louisa May Alcott: Find out more about Louisa May Alcott and visit the real-life Orchard House in Concord, MA
All of these offer a nice look behind the scenes at how the film came together and how they recreated this bygone era. While I can’t say I’d really come back to any of them, they offer some nice additions to a great film and will surely entice long-time fans of the material.