little women (the preamble)

Today I was asking a friend of mine whether or not she’d ever read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women or seen any of the film adaptations. She had not! A very exciting prospect to consider, coming to such a well-known text with no prior impressions. What a treat!

She then said she always prefers film adaptations which stick closest to the book.

Slightly disagree. I can’t say I entirely agree. There are too many differences in the way a story is told to justify the idea that “the book is always better than the film.” As previously explored in my post about The Art of Adaptation there’s many reasons why major changes to a source text can result in a successful film. So long as the heart and characters of the story remain intact, I’m happy.

Of the 3.5 versions of Little Women I have seen, the 1990s adaptation with Winona Ryder us my favorite. I didn’t even finish the most recent, gritty, BBC series… 30 min. in and it just didn’t feel like Little Women. As for the most recent theatrical release in the U.S., I have avoided it. From what I can tell, feminist anachronisms abound and I am not about that. The Alcott’s were mold breakers in their own time and I prefer to keep their attitudes in context. But hey, I’ll give it a go today and see if it surpasses my expectations.

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