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Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women

A darker-than-usual take on the author
By GERALD PEARY  |  September 9, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars

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Without Ken Burns–style brouhaha, Lexington’s Nancy Porter has forged a distinguished career in public television. She makes biographical documentaries, many of them portraits of fascinating women: legislator Elaine Noble, aviatrix Amelia Earhart, public enemy Typhoid Mary. The story of Louisa May Alcott (Elizabeth Marvel) is her latest work, and here she shift to the docudrama form. As always with Porter, you can expect intelligence in the writing (by Harriet Reisen) and insights into the bio subject. This is a darker-than-usual view of the creator of Little Women (1868), who experienced a life of depression and deprivation before becoming a runaway bestselling author. The docudrama mostly works, though having the actors who play Concord’s finest in wigs and whiskers directly address the viewer is a little strange. Ralph Waldo Emerson talking to me? 82 minutes | MFA: September 17, 20, 21, 26, 27; October 11, 18

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