FILM REVIEW | Little Women

Remakes, sequels and adaptations make up the majority of films in cinemas these days, and are usually met with a lukewarm reaction.

Some are alright, some murder the memory of their predecessors and some would have been better left on the page.

Rarely do these films hit the nail on the head, but that's just what second-time director Greta Gerwig has done with her interpretation of classic American tale Little Women.

For a story so quintessentially American it's quite funny to note that none of the titular women are played by Americans.

Irish three-time Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (star of Gerwig's directorial debut Lady Bird) leads the way as Jo March, alongside Brits Emma Watson (Harry Potter's Hermione) and Florence Pugh (Midsommar) and young Aussie up-and-comer Eliza Scanlen (Sharp Objects) as Meg, Amy and Beth March respectively.

In the hands of a less talented writer or less vivacious actors, Little Women could have felt dated, preachy or irrelevant. But with Gerwig and Ronan leading the way, the film is a pure delight.

It's so earnest yet light and frivolous at the same time.

New generation: Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Eliza Scanlen play Meg, Amy, Jo and Beth March in Greta Gerwig's new adaptation of Little Women, rated G, in cinemas now.

New generation: Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Saoirse Ronan and Eliza Scanlen play Meg, Amy, Jo and Beth March in Greta Gerwig's new adaptation of Little Women, rated G, in cinemas now.

The relationship between the sisters is strong - even when they're literally pulling each other's hair out - and admirable.

Their struggles with self-identity, ambition, finances, duty, romance and being women in a men's world (mid-1800s) are familiar to audiences today.

The story takes place over a handful of years, as the girls mature and chase their dreams, navigating the difficult world around them with integrity and spirit.

While the relationship between Jo and the head-over-heels boy next door Laurie (the internet's boyfriend, Timothee Chalamet) has been the big marketing drawcard for the film - and it's wonderful, whether you know the story or not - what's truly fantastic is that it's Jo's love of her work, writing, that is the true love of her life in this story.

Little Women - which has scored a Golden Globe nomination for Ronan's lead performance - also stars Laura Dern (Big Little Lies) as the March matriarch and Meryl Streep (also Big Little Lies) as rich old Aunt March.

See it now, it's worth it.

Rating: 8/10