There have been many screen adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869), but this is one of the best. Directed by Greta Gerwig (who also directed Lady Bird), and with an all star cast, it feels fresh and relevant to a modern audience. Little Women tells the story of an impoverished middle class family in New England; with their father away serving as a pastor in the Civil War, Marmee and her four daughters are left to fend for themselves and navigate the different paths to adulthood. Saoirse Ronan is superb as Jo, with equally strong performances by Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, Laura Dearn, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep.

The Guardian wrote: “One-hundred-and-fifty-year-old literature never felt so alive. Greta Gerwig’s jostling, clamouring adaptation of Little Women is a rare achievement. Gerwig is respectful of the source material – much of the dialogue is lifted from Louisa May Alcott’s beloved book – while ensuring that her own creative input is heard. By encouraging a merry chaos of overlapping personalities and performances – restructuring the timeline into a multilayered playground where the child and adult stories interact – and subtly foregrounding existing themes of female fulfilment and the economics of creativity, Gerwig creates something that is true to its roots and bracingly current.”

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