Infinite variations of Little Women exist in the minds of millions. Dreamt of, wept over, memorised like gospel with every detail held close to the heart. Over a dozen screen versions of Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel have been produced – but so few have the incandescent verve of Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film.
To choose a worn period piece as the follow-up to the tender, melancholic and personal debut that was Lady Bird seemed misguided. But that was before anyone realised just how much familiar DNA exists in Alcott’s words.
Gerwig doesn’t completely skin the material, or claim to know better. Instead, she rips out every page, cutting shapes around dialogue and sticking notes over chapters, and reassembles it to display a new gift, born from the same family.
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