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  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★½

    Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel might seem an odd choice for 2019. Jo March’s limited options in the 1860s-set story may not resonate as much with girls of today as much as they have in the past.

    But in presenting this classic story with this much passion and care, with this great a cast and with a script and editing style that feel this lively, what Gerwig does is assert that the great stories that have resonated with women deserve a spot in the canon, and that stories by and about women’s lives and experiences are sacred things deserving of respect.

  • Marriage Story

    Marriage Story

    ★★★★

    A sort of updated version of Kramer vs. Kramer, Noah Baumbach's drama of a marriage ending and a child caught in the middle is similarly balanced on the shoulders of a pair of strong leading performances, in this case Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson. And if Marriage Story shares a touch of Kramer's jaded view of the legal system as singularly aligned with mothers, it avoids the latter's screen time imbalance whereby the hapless and abandoned father becomes the de…

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  • Long Time Running

    Long Time Running

    ★★★★½

    This review is part of a series based on the films of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

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    The country wasn't ready to say goodbye to Gord Downie. For 30 years he and his bandmates in The Tragically Hip have been soundtracking Canadian parties, BBQs, makeout sessions, and everything between. But when his cancer diagnosis was made public in early 2016, that's what Canada was forced to do. In a way it felt like the band's summer tour, their…

  • Ad Astra

    Ad Astra

    ★★★

    James Gray's Ad Astra opens with an incredible sequence involving a disaster aboard the "International Space Antenna," a staggeringly tall communications device that reaches into Earth's upper atmosphere. It's one of two truly inspired set pieces in the film—the other being a rover chase on the surface of the moon—that showcase Hoyte Van Hoytema's (Interstellar, Dunkirk) exquisite cinematography and remind us what a wonder space travel (and cinema) can be. In the moments that catch your breath, the movie reminded…