Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Little Woman (1994) (Movie Review)

So after all the Sci-Fi's, Disney, action and Superhero movies that I've been reviewing lately, I think I'll take a little break and review something simple, sweet and strait forward. Why not the 1994 movie "Little Woman", which is a remake of the 1949 movie "Little Woman", which is also a remake of the 1933 movie "Little Woman", which was based off of the classic novel of the same title by Louisa May Alcott. Of the three different film renditions, thie third film from 1994 has become the msot successful and well known, so that's the that I'll be reviewing here  

For those of you not familiar with the novel, here's how the story goes in short order. It's the era of Civil War and the setting is New England. The focus of our film is on four sisters, the March sisters as their often addressed. After their father leaves for battle as part of the Union Army, the family was left to take care of themselves, along with their mother and honestly, the rest of the story is their natural lives. The film spans over years, following them struggle with lifes's challenges and illustrating how their family connection remains strong in the face of tragedy. Admittedly, I was in middle school when I first saw this movie and I was not in the right mind set to fully appreciate this film. Back then, I couldn't properly categorize this movie and it just felt so dull to me. But I've come to admire this film because there's so many fascinating things that can come from the story of life. Think about it, life is interesting, life can be magical, it can be scary, it can be unpredictable and above anything else, it's genuine.   


Our lead sister is Jo March, played by the always fantastic Wionoa Ryder, who I've come to admire from films like "Edward Scissorhands" and "The Crucible". As always, she's at the top of her craft, full of energy, completely believable in the role and her personal journey of independence is the engine that runs this train. The rest of the sisters have their own personal journeys, one dreams of going the France, another strives to be an actress and there's the little sister Amy played by a young yet talented Kristen Dunst, who's gotten quiet the reputation thanks to her roles in films like "Melancholia", "Interview with a Vampire" and the "Spider-Man" series. The performences are all great, Christian Bale (from "The Dark Knight") is good as the boy friend, the mother is genuine, and there's something so wholesome about these five lead actresses that perfectly represents the warmth and familiarity of a reel family.  
       I'd be lying if I said that this was a movie that I watch often, but it is one that i greatly admire and I hope films like this can stand as templates on how to make a good movie, one that doesn't feel as manipulative as most of the movies that we get from Hollywood all the time. If you're a fan of the classic novel or any of the earlier films, then you'll love this movie and even if you're just a regular movie viewer, I still recomend it, just for a genuinely good time. I give the 1994 remake of "Little Woman" 3 stars.

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