Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Louisa May Alcott

From The LA Times Guide:
For those who know Louisa May Alcott only as the author of some of the most enduring classics of children's literature, "Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind 'Little Women' " will be a revelation. For those already familiar with Alcott's Transcendentalist-boho childhood, her sensational tales of love and horror under the pen name A.M. Barnard and her refusal to diminish her personal and economic freedom by marrying, the dramatically reenacted documentary gives life and texture to a woman of extraordinary talent and determination who became as great a celebrity in her day as J.K. Rowling is in ours.

With Elizabeth Marvel as Alcott and Jane Alexander playing a family friend and early biographer, the film relies on the copious correspondence from the writer and her family, most notably her father, Bronson Alcott, with commentary from Alcott scholars including novelist Geraldine Brooks, who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2006 for "March," a fictional imagining of what happened to Mr. March, the father of all those little women, during his stint as a minister in the Civil War.

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