Little Women (1994)

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Last Sunday, after a pretty stressful weekend of marking, and in preparation of an even more stressful week ahead of me, I curled up on my sofa with a cup of tea and found a little afternoon film treat; Little Women, the story of four sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy) growing up during the American Civil War. With their father away fighting the household and the ‘little women’ have to come to terms with the hardships of war, romance and growing up.

This adaptation of Little Women was filmed in 1994 and stars Susan Sarandon as ‘Marmee’, Winona Ryder as the fiercely independent Jo and Christian Bale as Laurie, the young man living with his Grandfather across the street, as well as a whole host of other well known names. This isn’t going to be a particularly long post, as my workload is still calling, but I wanted to share some of the things I love about this film.

Firstly, when I realised this film was on last weekend I was on the phone to my Aunty, well Mum’s Aunty, and we both mentioned that we would be watching Little Women that afternoon. I only share this because it was at my Aunty’s that I first saw this film many moons ago, when we still had VHS, so it conjures up memories of drinking endless cups of tea, chilling out in front of the fire and becoming engrossed in the beauty of the film. Despite the fact I probably didn’t understand some of what was going on context wise when I first watched it.

I really enjoy the relationship between the sisters, particularly that of Jo and Amy, which undergoes so many changes as both characters are independent and strong minded, Jo more so as Amy matures and seems to grow out of it with age. I can relate to the friction so well, having a sister myself who I frequently argued with when we were children, but it certainly gets better as we have both grown up.

The film clearly left such a strong impression on my mind as when I read the novel a few years later I was shocked to find that certain key events are not in the novel. Was I confused? Of course, I thought I had bought the wrong copy, or a shortened version. Of course I did a bit of research and discovered I needed the follow on novel Good Wives, so I rushed out and bought it and all became clear.

It really is an uplifting and heart warming film, and if you haven’t seen it before I certainly recommend it as the perfect chilled out Sunday film, in fact I could just curl up with tea and crumpets and watch it all over again this afternoon.

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