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Blu-ray Review: Little Women

April 14, 2020

By John Corrado

Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, the writer/director’s new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel, was one of my favourite movies of last year. It’s now available to rent and own digitally, and was released on Blu-ray last week.

Gerwig’s beautifully crafted film is brought to life by a wonderful cast that includes Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh in Oscar-nominated roles as Jo and Amy March, as well as Emma Watson and Eliza Scanlon as the other two March sisters, Laura Dern as their mother, and Timothée Chalamet as their neighbour Laurie.

The film was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, and took home the trophy for Best Costume Design. This is a beautifully crafted adaptation of Alcott’s book, with Gerwig finding modern relevance in how she adapts the classic Civil War-era story. It’s a great movie to watch at home. For more on the film itself, my full review can be found right here.

The Blu-ray also includes a nice selection of featurettes. First up is A New Generation of Little Women, which focuses on the book’s classic literary characters, how the actors approached playing them, and how Gerwig approached adapting the story for the modern era. Next up, Making a Modern Classic dives into the film’s production design, costumes, and cinematography, touching on production designer Jess Gonchor’s meticulous work dressing the sets, Jacqueline Durran’s Oscar-winning costumes, (including having Ronan and Chalamet swap clothes), and the choice made by Gerwig and cinematographer Yorick Le Saux to shoot on film.

This is followed by Greta Gerwig: Women Making Art, in which Gerwig discusses how she brought the book’s themes of women having agency over art and money to the forefront in her film adaptation. Cast members also talk about how Gerwig wrote and directed the dialogue to have the characters talk over each other at times, giving the film a very naturalistic and life-like feel. We are told that she directed scenes almost like an orchestra conductor to help the actors find the rhythm of her script, which was written with slashes for overlapping speech like in a stage play.

Next is Hair & Make-Up Test Sequence, which is exactly what it sounds like; a highlight reel of hair and makeup tests featuring the actors. It’s followed by Little Women Behind the Scenes, a short piece that plays almost like a supercut of highlights from the other featurettes with bits of new footage from the set worked in. Finally, Orchard House, Home of Louisa May Alcott features Jan Turnquist, the executive director of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, talking about how the author’s family home in Concord, Massachusetts has been restored and kept open for centuries, and how many elements of the house were directly copied in the film.

Little Women is a Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 135 minutes and rated PG.

Street Date: April 7th, 2020

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