A Little Princess (1995)

Starring: Liesel Matthews, Vanessa Lee Chester, Eleanor Bron, Rusty Schwimmer, Liam Cunningham, Arthur Malet

Directed by:  Alfonso Cuarón

G. 98 mins

Beautiful. A remake of Shirley Temple’s 1939 version based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s (The Secret Garden) novel, A Little Princess is the story of Sara Crewe (Liesel Matthews), a privileged young girl who is forced to live at a New York boarding school while her father goes off to fight in WWI. Sara’s stories of her previous life amaze the other girls and she soon becomes popular, but not so much with the terrible headmistress, Miss Minchin (Eleanor Bron). When she is informed of her father’s death, she is suddenly made to work as a servant girl and through her powerful imagination, she and fellow servant Becky (Vanessa Lee Chester) imagine a world much brighter than their own. Cuarón directs with tremendous flair, creating both WWI and Sara’s fantasies of India with stylish detail. A Little Princess is quite mature and emotionally dense for both children and adults. “Every girl everywhere is a princess” and this is a very touching classic – * * * *

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