Little Women has been made into a film several times and the 1994 version is one of the best. Although the story is well loved, it hasn’t always been a big cinema hit… especially with men. Even the title tells us it’s a girly story. Four girls grow up, they fall in love, one of them dies and the others get married. It is nothing more than a melodramatic story of family tragedy and romance. Or is it?

The 1994 version, directed by Gillian Armstrong and starring Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes and Christian Bale was considered a beautiful, intelligent interpretation of the book and was nominated for three Oscars. The film follows the book closely and explores the emotions and reactions which motivate the four sisters. As a result the main characters are more interesting than in most film adaptations of the story. This is quite a difficult thing to do in a novel where everyone is so nice! The basic plot is not very original but the acting is excellent, the soundtrack is perfect, and the scenes and costumes beautiful. If you want to see a romantic family film set in a historical context Little Women is still difficult to resist.
Watch the trailer!

Illustration by Marina Marcolin, taken from Little Women, by Louise May Alcott, Green Apple, Step One (CEFR A2).