'Little Women' gets a 21st-century makeover

'Little Women' on PBS

(CNN)Every generation probably deserves its own version of "Little Women" -- having previously been adapted in 1933, '49 and '94 -- and a new 21st-century "Masterpiece" version of Louisa May Alcott's story in conjunction with the BBC, turns out to be natural and charming, featuring a breakthrough performance by Maya Hawke.

Hawke -- the daughter of actors Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman -- plays the self-sufficient Jo, the second oldest of the March sisters, and a feminist icon for our times. She and the other young actresses are flanked by a truly first-rate cast in this three-hour production that's being spread over two nights, including Emily Watson as their mother, along with Michael Gambon, Angela Lansbury and Dylan Baker.
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