REVIEW: Little Women: The Official Movie Companion by Gina McIntyre

In brief: The story behind the latest version of Little Women on film, from the characters to the costumes and locations.

The good: Interesting insight into behind the scenes of the film.

The not-so-good: I found the actual movie rather long…

Why I chose it: Won it in a competition, so decided to read it straight after watching the film.

Year: 2019

Pages: 188

Publisher: Abrams

Setting: USA

Rating: 8 out of 10

First things first – it’s time for some confessions. I’ve only read Little Women once, and I barely remember it. (Except for Jo, because she was the most interesting). The second is that I really didn’t rate the latest Little Women movie. It was overly long and the back and forth in time just confused me. (The guy seated next to me drank two beers and left the cinema twice during the film – and he wasn’t the only male doing that!) But the acting was great with a strong cast and some lovely costumes. This companion to the movie goes into the technical and behind the scenes aspects in much more detail and for me, was the best part of the new film.

The book is published under a young readers imprint, but it will definitely entertain adult readers. It goes into detail regarding the cast, Louisa May Alcott’s history, the costumes and sets. Extra detail is provided on the food used in various scenes (Christmas, the ball, the final scene) with a recipe or two. The anatomy of a scene when Amy falls into the ice was fascinating – so much work for a short section of the film but it definitely looked good. (And who knew that CGI was used to make it look so realistic?) I also loved the wet plate photography illustrated throughout the book which was used for portraits of the main characters. The description of the process was clear and succinct and the photos themselves highly detailed, but in a different way to the photographs today. The modern photographs were also very well done, sharp and with a lot of detail.

Overall, this is a high-quality book that shows the details and background work required to make a film. It’s interesting whether you’re a fan of the movie/book or not, but I’m certain that fans will adore the additional insight.

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