Little Women is a story that originated from the American author, Louisa May Alcott in the 1880s. Originally published in two volumes, it tells the story of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, astutely detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood. The story is in itself loosely based on the author and her three sisters, with Jo as her alter ego. So, it’s coming from a real place.
The book is often classified by scholars as an autobiographical or semi-autobiographical novel and has frequently been adapted for stage and screen. One of such is Greta Gerwig‘s, which could be best described as an excavation rather than an adaptation. Ahead of its Christmas Day release by Sony Pictures Releasing, meet the March sisters.
What Is Greta Gerwig’s Little Women Movie All About?
In the upcoming movie, Oscar-nominated director Greta Gerwig retells Alcott’s timeless and timely classic.
Little Women follows the lives of the four March sisters, Amy, Jo, Beth and Meg, exploring their lives as they come of age in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Though they all vary greatly from each other, they stand by one another through difficult and changing times, with each determined to live life on her own terms.
Rather than taking us back to their teenage years, Gerwig focuses more on the sisters’ young adult lives, particularly after Meg, Jo, and Amy leave their family home.
Who Stars In It
Gerwig’s Little Women features a rich crop of A-List cast including Meryl Streep, Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, and Timothée Chalamet. Also starring in the movie are Bob Odenkirk, James Norton, Abby Quinn, Louis Garrel, Tracy Letts, Jayne Houdyshell, and Chris Cooper.
Gerwig’s Little Women and Its Portrayal of the Life of the March Sisters
The March sisters are played by four amazing actresses in the US, interestingly, none of which are American. While Watson and Pugh are British, Ronan is Irish, and Scanlen is Australian. Despite the differing nationalities, they portray these heroines of American literature in a way that no one else could probably have.
Emma Watson takes on the role of the eldest March sister, Meg, replacing Emma Stone who was initially cast for the role.
Meg March is beautiful and the most traditional of the sisters as per expectations for women at the time. She has been opined as embodying a nearly perfect “little woman” and encourages her sisters to do same. Meg helps support the family by working as a teacher for a nearby family. She eventually finds love of her own.
She follows societal trends rather than fully pursuing her independence. According to Gerwig, Meg is no different from so many people. She just has an irrepressible desire to fit in with the fancy girls that she’s so different from.
Jo, the second oldest March sister is a stark contrast to her older sister. She is characterized as a tomboy and one prioritizes her independence. She embarks on a career as a writer and initially rejects the idea of marriage.
Saoirse Ronan will portray Jo, the strongest and most willful sister who often clashes with others because of her temper. Ronan also teamed up with Gerwig in Lady Bird (2017) where her character is based on Gerwig’s real-life experiences just like Jo is based on Alcott herself.
The shyest of the March sisters, Beth is played by Eliza Scanlen. She is a pianist, known for her gentle and endearing demeanor. In Little Women, Beth has one of the most tragic character arcs.
Her battle with scarlet fever challenges the family and deeply affects her sisters, especially Jo, whom she was closest to.
Amy is an artist, a proper young lady who longs for elegance and fine society. Florence Pugh plays the youngest March sister.
Despite being the youngest, she is bratty and is seen as the least likeable of the sisters because of her self-centered tendencies. She may not earn the likeness of all but her hard work is one thing every one respects her for.
Who Are The Other Little Women Cast
Timothée Chalamet portrays the archetypal boy-next-door and the love interest, Theodore ‘Laurie’ Laurence in Little Women.
A privileged individual whose comfortable lifestyle contrasts with the March family dynamics, he captures the heart of more than one March sister and would later fall for Amy, eventually marrying her.
Laura Dern stars as Margaret “Marmee” March, the mother of the March sisters. Both a hard worker and devoted mother, Marmee lovingly guides her girls through life, often serving as a moral role model.
Meryl Streep, a true cinema icon gives yet another phenomenal performance as aunt March. Aunt March is a rich widow who is prone to being judgmental. Despite seeming dismissive towards her relatives, she loves her nieces and wants the best for them.