Why the “Little Women” Remake is the Feminist Film We NEED

    When I first heard that there was to be a new adaptation of “Little Women,” I was overcome with emotion, the kind of emotion typically associated with a big life landmark or a college acceptance. This may sound over-dramatic, but this reconstruction of the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott is a synthesis of powerful and talented women, an amazing and heartwarming story, and nostalgia.

    The original book was published in the 1800s, following a family of women through the trials and tribulations of life. One of the fantastic things about the story itself is how it shows the variation in the kinds of lives women can lead. Jo, one of the daughters and protagonists, is a young girl who doesn’t fit into the confines of femininity throughout childhood. Not only this, but her narrative is focused on her creativity and dreams of being a writer. Meg, another sister, is far more maternally inclined, staying at home and being an emotional support system for their mother and family. Without boasting thematically, this storyline tells the audience that all kinds of femininity and lifestyles are valid, neither criminalizing or lauding the different lives one can live as a women.

    The first film adaptation came out in 1933, starring Katherine Hepburn, with another coming out in 1949, and most recently 1994. I grew up with the 1994 film, and it captures the book extremely well with a beautiful setting and amazing actors. Though this is a classic to me, I think that Greta Gerwig will bring a unique modern approach from the perspective of a woman in 2019.

    My personal favorite character, Jo, will be played by Saorise Ronan. This character is self determined and focuses on career rather than family. Not only was this unique for the time, but this an important reminder in the current cultural climate. However, there is a popular attack on feminism saying that feminists only value women that strive to fit the “girlboss” stereotype and say “screw men.” The message of this film is inclusive, showing characters, as I previously mentioned, like Meg (played by Emma Watson) who are self determined in their own way. In addition to these actors, the film will have tried and true stars like Meryl Streep and young, accomplished actors like Timothée CHalamet, fresh from his immense success following “Call Me By Your Name.” With actors like Watson and a director like Gerwig, this influential story is sure to reach the masses as I feel it deserves. In a generation where it sometimes feels as if men rule the world, stories like this remind us of the power of family, female relationships, and self determination.  

So, maybe I am a fangirl of a 17th century novel and the movies that follow, but I strongly believe that this movie will influence the minds of a generation.