Little Women – Blu-ray Review

Little Women

When I originally reviewed the film back in November, I gave it a middle-of-the-road review. Upon a secondary viewing, my thoughts on the film have changed. When Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women” was published back in 1868, it broke new grounds and gave young women various new role models to look up to. Every member of the March family represents various personality traits that will certainly resonate with women. There’s the strong and independent Jo March. There’s also the quiet and talented Beth March. Then you’ll find the domesticated and family-oriented Meg March. Finally, you have the feisty and spoiled Amy March. There’s someone for everyone to latch onto.

But much like life, there isn’t a single straight plot thread in Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the book. In other words, the events in the film, except for the death of Beth, won’t thrill or excite you. Instead, they’re about everyday life stories that a majority of people should relate to. Friendship, family, love, and hope are the qualities that make up Little Women‘s story.

Unfortunately, the layering of the different timelines can be a bit confusing because of the sudden transition between one or the other. But admittedly, watching the in-depth special features has given me an understanding of what Gerwig was going for. But that being said, it still should be clear without any prior knowledge of both volumes.

But what truly makes the film remarkable is the film’s pool of young Hollywood talent. First of all, the chemistry between all of the actresses is palpable. Ronan, Watson, Pugh, and Scanlen feel like close loving sisters—squabbles and all. Not to mention, the look and production design of the location and time-period is astounding. It truly feels as if you’re being transported into this era. 

Overall, Little Women is a solid film anchored by the film’s fantastic cast. Writer/director Greta Gerwig put a lot of tender, love, and care into this story and it shows in the film. She’s able to elevate this timeless story by putting a modern feel to the story while also keeps the essence of the story intact.

Movie Rating: 3.5/5 atoms

Video

Little Women - Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet

Little Women hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-AVC with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The video overall has a very high contrast which leads to some bright harsh whites and super dark blacks. Unfortunately, yes you do lose a good amount of details in these areas. That being said, the look does fit in with the “naturally fire lit” lighting of the era.

The colors have a bold saturation to them with different temperatures to signal the different timelines of the film. You get more of a warm temperature for the past scenes and a cool one when you’re in the present-day scenes. The details are incredibly clear since you can see every fantastic detail of the production design. Another thing that’s clear as day is the film grain. But it also shows some of the softness around the edges of the actors. Overall, this is a pretty decent video transfer.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

Audio

Little Women - Timothee Chalamet and Florence Pugh

Little Women hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. You wouldn’t expect it from a film like this, but Little Women does feature a pretty impressive and immersive audio mix. Now, that doesn’t mean that you’ll hear a lot of dynamic sound across the soundstage. The mix, instead, emphasizes the dialogue, atmospherics, and Desplat’s score. There are times where an immersive sound placement does play a part in the audio mix but they’re few and far between.

What brings this audio mix to life is the atmospheric effects. The fun and distinct effects envelop you and put you right into the scene. Alexandre Desplat’s score also complements the atmospherics well. It never overpowers one another—something that you can hear in the opening scene where Jo is running. Of course, the dialogue sounds clean and crisp throughout the soundstage. Overall, this is a stellar audio mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features

Little Women - Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan, and Emma Watson

Little Women‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • A New Generation of Little Women
  • Making a Modern Classic
  • Greta Gerwig: Women Making Art
  • Hair & Makeup Test Sequence
  • Little Women Behind the Scenes
  • Orchard House, Home of Louisa May Alcott

“New Generation” is a fantastic in-depth featurette that breaks down a lot about the film. The cast and filmmakers bring to light a lot of information about the characters and the new modern story adaptation. “Making a Modern Classic” is another lovely in-depth featurette that covers the production aspect of the film. “Greta Gerwig” talks about her reasons for adapting Little Women for modern-day. “Hair & Makeup” is simply footage of the cast stylistically shot and edited together—all set to Alexandre Desplat’s score.

“Behind the Scenes” is a gracefully edited featurette that’s made as a promotional tool for the film. Nevertheless, this beautiful featurette is still an informative watch. “Louisa’s Legacy” is a half advertisement for Louisa’s Orchard House and another half documentary about Louisa May Alcott.

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms


Overall, Little Women is an excellent adaptation for modern audiences. Gerwig’s love for the material clearly shows in this well-crafted and well-written film. Unfortunately, the video transfer needs a bit of improvement but at least the audio mix is phenomenal. The special features are also a highlight due to the in-depth and informative nature of the featurettes.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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