Little Women

Draft Review by Dean Duncan May 29, 2015

Even though they didn’t always make ’em like they used to even when they were making ’em like they used to, this proves that when the stars align and the will is there, little miracles of sweetness and light can still come out in the theatres, perhaps it’s because it was shot on Vancouver Island, and surely because the book has something beautiful at its core, this is full of love and kindness, which really is love and kindness because sentiment doesn’t give way to sentimentality–Jo cuts her hair, and the marvellously callow Amy (is there really hope for girl-y girls?) undercuts it all by bemoaning the loss of her sister’s only beauty, having established this kind of thing and won us over, the film can go ahead and pull out all stops, you gratefully give in when dear dying Beth gets her piano (the actress doing stupendous things while your noticing that the Neville character was only flinty so that they could melt him later), or when, in a scene straight out of Grand Illusion, she dies, all the developments declines and repentances and marriages and such are all handled beautifully, and those who suspect sneaky feminist updatings (so?) should note that, while they are quietly affirming women’s rights to a bunch of things, they also point out the possible burdens and unfulfilments on the male side of the equation, the result of it all being that here are the words of eternal life, and there are glimpses of more than just words