CINEMA: Transcendental Meditation

Winona Ryder stars in Little Women, an entrancing version of a classic that, despite its gentility, speaks right to our time

The March family is Santa Clueless. They are transcendentalists, so there are no angels in their outfieldmaybe just Ralph Waldo Emerson out for his evening stroll. They are the creation of a 19th century New England lady who never heard the phrase "family entertainment" but in her innocence imagined that by telling the story of one family going about the ordinary business of life, she could divert and instruct other families.

You have to worry about Little Women. As a movie, it is exotic in all the wrong ways for today's market -- all hoop-skirts, candlelight and genteel language. In Louisa...

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