Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" has been adapted for the big screen plenty of times, yet here we are again this time with Greta Gerwig serving as director/writer.
Gerwig brings the same voice to "Women" as she did her previous film "Lady Bird" - finding a fresh way to premiere the familiar tale.
Working with her "Lady Bird" star Saoirse Ronan, Gerwig takes the story of four sisters Jo (Ronan), Megan (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh) and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) growing up in post Civil War America. While the world still sees traditional roles for the sisters, they are all eager to find their way and their voice.
Jo aspires to be a writer, while Amy has dreams of being an artist. Beth wants to be a musician, while Megan is content with being a housewife and mother.
Gerwig uses Jo to tell the story, with her writings serving as the framing device to shift the story back and forth in time (Gerwig actually borrows as much from Alcott's sequel as she does "Little Women.")
That decision is a bit jarring, especially in the first hour. But Gerwig eventually finds a balance and "Little Women" finds its footing.
Ronan is a good choice of Jo, capturing her character's headstrong independence. Watson is also fine as is Pugh, with Laura Dern, Meryl Streep and Timothy Chalamet also solid in supporting roles.
The cast helps get "Little Women" through that rocky first hour, but once Gerwig's story finds its footing it really takes off and - like its lead character - finds its voice.
This may not be on par with some of the other versions of "Little Women" (the 1994 film remains my favorite), but is is still a solid - and ultimately entertaining - new spin on the beloved tale.