Little Women ★★★★½

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“Why are you being so hard on me? It’s 4pm.”

The first time around, the swoon-worthy knitwear, portrait-like framing and bookmaking p0rn made other things difficult to focus on. This time, the many small gestures, touching details, odd comments (Laurie to Amy, above), and charming mirror-images came into focus. 

The film’s structure, which presents as organic but is no doubt hard-won in both script and edit, feels so much like how life is experienced: in immediate moments and vivid memories, mixed together into an urgent nostalgia, life as it is being and has been lived. I want to say it’s a womanly way of living, uncompartmentalised, everything being felt now as then, all events linked to each other, memory and consequence intertwined, walking backwards into the future. 

One mirror-example expresses this best: in the opening shots, we see Jo March from behind as she stands at a windowed door. It is opaque, frosted, she is unable to see into the publishing offices that will determine her future as a writer. She draws breath and enters. At the end, the glass is clear, we are inside the printing house and we see her, facing us now, as she watches her first edition being printed. She draws breath and nods.

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