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Writer Heidi Thomas and director Vanessa Caswill tell the timeless story with skill, affection and fresh directness.
It's a well-intentioned and updated Little Women, but not quite a classic.
A luminous adaptation, with Hawke as one more memorable "Jo" in a long and glorious line of them.
This is a production that's deeply affectionate toward its characters, the lives they lead, and the time and place from which they've emerged.
Beautifully produced and faithful to the original story, the miniseries also captures the joyful spirit of the novel despite its many heartaches.
The casting is solid, with Emily Watson particularly affecting as Marmee. The star, though, is Maya Hawke, who captures the spirited Jo nicely as she grows into a committed writer and uncompromising lover.
It dragged in soft-focus. I could feel myself dying along with poor Beth.
It's an often entertaining adaptation of Alcott's 19th century bestseller and is aided at all times by the sparky performances of its cast.
Like the entire production, [Emily] Watson avoids sentimentality and grounds Marmee in genuine emotion.
If the story doesn't exactly break new ground, some of the actors manage to find unexpected depths to characters we know so well.
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