‘Little Women’ Film Review: Contemporary Take on Literary Classic Feels More Old-Fashioned Than the Original

  • The Wrap
‘Little Women’ Film Review: Contemporary Take on Literary Classic Feels More Old-Fashioned Than the Original
Clare Niederpruem’s adaptation of “Little Women” is billed as “the first-ever modern cinematic retelling of the classic story.” (Apparently they’re not counting the 2012 TV movie “The March Sisters at Christmas.”) This sounds like a promising approach; Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel was published 150 years ago, yet it remains as relevant as ever.

Alcott’s books grappled with the place of girls and women (and also boys and men) in the world, so there will always be room for thoughtful adaptations of her work. Indeed, this year brought a well-received miniseries to PBS, and Greta Gerwig is currently working on an interpretation starring Saoirse Ronan and Meryl Streep. Plus, of course, parents still show kids their own favorite versions, from 1933, 1949 and 1994.

But these efforts reflected a crucial understanding missing from Niederpruem’s feature debut: that we are all Jo. The girls in this contemporary retelling — which was produced
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