Little Women ★★★★

Just arrestingly beautiful and well-judged in every respect, an obvious passion project with complexity of emotion and narrative alike. The casting is remarkably spot-on, and the familiarity and affection Gerwig conveys toward Alcott's characters is so difficult to articulate as an idea that there's absolutely no way it was easy to concoct in the script or in the editing room. (The chronological juggling worked completely for me, no hesitation whatsoever.) Additionally, a film -- shot on celluloid, no less -- that cries out to be seen projected, so do so while you have the opportunity. Without spoiling, the reconfiguration of a certain character's arc is a splendid choice that helps give the entire story an unresolved tension that the more simplistic feel-good adaptations of this book in years past completely missed, and which manages to make the whole enterprise more satisfying. No doubt in my mind that Gerwig is a major filmmaker; I was honestly disappointed when I heard this was her next project -- it seemed like a work that had been wrung dry by Hollywood already -- but I'm so glad this exists now.