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The ending
nancyrn91630 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Some comments lament the movie has changed from the book (especially the ending). I heard a Greta Gerwig interview today where she explained she studied Louisa May Alcott and found out Alcott, in actuality, was pressured by her publishers, to marry Jo at the end of the book. Gerwig wanted to honor Alcott by ending it the way it really was meant to be. This knowledge made the movie so much better for me.
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Powerful Performance by Saoirse Ronan
jamuckley17 December 2019
The newest adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, "Little Women," was the best version I have ever seen. Directed by Greta Gerwig, the film stars Saoirse Ronan as Jo March, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, Eliza Scanlen as Beth, and Laura Dern as Marmee. Timothée Chalamet stars as Laurie, Chris Cooper is Mr. Laurence, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.

The entire cast is stupendous. Ms. Ronan stands out in her tour de force performance as Jo, the independent writer, who refuses to marry, and is determined to make her own path. She unflinchingly remains true to herself, her family and her work as both a writer and a teacher.

The main difference between this adaptation and its predecessors is the stream of consciousness approach as the story moves between the present day March family, and the stories of growing up together. Parallels between the challenges when they were children and the struggles of adulthood weave together to tell their story both now and then. Gerwig and her team does a masterful job of storytelling to balance it all in a cohesive manner that holds the audience's attention and intrigue, even if most viewers already know the original story.

To enhance the superb storytelling, the film's cinematography and costume design, recreating 19th century New England, was a bright spot in this visually captivating film. I wouldn't be surprised if this film was among the select few chosen for nominations in both categories at this year's Oscars.
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The adaptation that Alcott would have liked best
sgreerpitt-3877125 December 2019
This is the best screen adaptation of Little Women that I've ever seen, and I've seen every one (both film and TV - single episode and series) made in English, even horridly "modernized" versions.

I read Little Women for the first time when I was 9 years old. I reread it at least once a year for the next 10 years and every few years for the next couple of decades. I modeled my behavior and attitudes on the March girls the way they modeled their behavior on Pilgrims Progress (an element of the book thankfully left out of this adaptation). To my mind, this film adaptation is truer to the spirit of this book, while channeling ideas from other Alcott favorites of mine (An Old Fashioned Girl and Rose in Bloom) and from Alcott's own life. My favorite moment of the film comes near the very end, a scene between Jo and her publisher, that does not come from the books, but represents Alcott life and intent faithfully.

And oh yes, the sound track is exquisite.
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Little Women (2019)
rockman1821 January 2020
I've always been a fan of Greta Gerwig. When she came out with Lady Bird in 2017, I absolutely loved it. So much so, that it was my favorite film of the year. Saoirse Ronan is such a talented actress and top three going today for me. So what happens when you add Florence Pugh, Emma Watson, and Laura Dern? You get a highly entertaining film based on a literary classic. A great final film of 2019.

The film is based on the book by Louisa May Alcott and is about a group of sisters who grow up together through years and learn lessons about life, love, death, womanhood, and the bond that keeps them united through the years. Jo March (played by Saoirse Ronan) also looks to find success in her writing and attempts to get her memoirs published. Most importantly, the film stars young charmer Timothee Chalamet.

I read a lot of people had problems with the time jumping. I had no such issue. I think it was easy to tell when the film was going back and forth by the contrast of the picture (the memories were brighter and more yellowy orange) while the present was more blue. You can also tell from the hairstyles, especially that of Florence Pugh. I liked the narrative style that was implement by Gerwig, the story which has been adapted many times needed to be fresh for this modern audience.

The performances all around are great. There are humorous elements to most of the characters, especially that of Ms. Pugh. Ronan is fabulous as she pretty much always is and the script does not let the characters down. Its sharp and witty and has the right amount of emotional weight that it needs to. There are somber moments here as the sisters deal with a close death and the range of emotions is handled well by the actors and by Gerwigs direction.

The costume design, cinematography, and set design all feel incredibly authentic. Its a period piece and it feels like it comes out of the era. I don't know how closely the film follows the book but I'd suspect from the positive reviews there hasn't been too many big differences. The film handles its wintry elements well in addition, you can see why this was a holiday release.

You would think that Greta Gerwig has been making films for years and years from the way this film looks and feels. Its crazy to think this is her second work and that she just burst out behind the camera two years ago. Its a warm, expertly crafted film that keeps it light hearted while dealing with a lot of struggles and tribulations people go through in their lives. An excellent way to close out the year. Now stay tuned for my top films of 2019 post.

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Wondrously Delightful
truemythmedia30 December 2019
If we can get a new version of A Christmas Carol every other year, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't get a remake of "Little Women" once every twenty-five years. I really think this story is just so delightful that it would be nigh impossible to mess up; it's innocent, funny, well-directed and shot, and best of all, it fills you with a sense of warmth and gratitude. It's no wonder this film came out on Christmas day. It's the perfect holiday film.
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So good
srgymrat3330 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I LOVED this movie . I love the book . I love the 94 version . I love the BBC version.. so to be fair I went in knowing I would love it .

If you compare there could be an entire list of things that were better in this version .. were better in that .. fit the book and didn't ect . But overall this was AMAZING.

Visually this was absolutely beautiful . The actors are so extremely talented . My one beef here is that they should have recasted Amy for flashbacks to make her seem younger . She seemed to forced as a 12-14 year old and looks too old.

Meg was my favorite adaptation in this version . I felt we knew her character in a new and more intimate way than ever before . I also loved Fredrick he was adorable and although did not have much screen time you could see why Beth ends up loving him .

Loved the ending . Loved the camera angles . At the end when the past and present converge ! That was genius .

This is an important story . Empowered women help empower other women . There isn't one right way to be a women or a feminist . And this shows us that in a powerful and touching way . Women need other women and this is an amazing reminder of that .
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Bucket of happiness
blauregenbogen1 January 2020
Meryl Streep is mesmerising and as always marvellous
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bestford31 December 2019
Good adaption and very well acted. Wonderful story brought to life. Very visual and enjoyable period drama. There's nothing not to love even if you haven't read the book.
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Hold up chilled hands to the screen for warmth...
peedur30 December 2019
I loved this film. Whoever considers this a girl's film has nothing to share of value. "Little Women" speaks to everybody!

I thought for a moment in the beginning of the film that it spoke for families of moderate privilege, but it soon becomes clear that whatever advantages exist for this family, they share with those who have less. In fact they share with those who have more, who quickly recognize the value and are moved by it. The needed, warming heat coming this family emanates from a deep well of generosity which informs thought and feeling of all the sisters in the story. When their mother isn't there, they attempt to aim at her example - when she is there, she exhorts them to aim for their long serving, long absent father's example. The core of individual character is central.

When the film was over, I noticed that nobody in the packed LA theater clapped, as they do with many good films. There was silence - Interestingly, nobody moved for several minutes. I felt that everyone was just absorbing the experience and didn't want it to end. People were chatting loudly about it in the lobby and it made me wonder what the effect really was. I had never heard so many people speak of reading, or never quite finishing the book after watching a film. It had a measurable impact.

For me, I felt that the film defined something important - the target-ideal of American family, of successful parenting, of practical economics, individual honesty, important values and aspirational identity, all of which are all vital and current, in our world today.

That silence after the film felt like a bit of a communal shock - that such a simple story about young women struggling to grow up together in postcard-pretty, late 19th century New England could feel so tremendously moving and emotional.

Please, make yourself feel better - see the film.
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A reflection on life a coming of age story also.
blanbrn2 January 2020
"Little Women" a film that has been done many times is one that entertains with drama and love as it's a sprawling journey of life, love, and choices. The film is a reflection of life thru flashbacks also as it looks at the times of the March sisters. Told mostly thru the eyes and point of view of one young up and comer Jo March(Saoirse Ronan) it shows how her and her sisters lived life with hope, energy, and love. As Jo longed for success to become a writer holding out for respect hoping that her intelligence would be known all while spinning sisterhood. The scenes are filled with many outdoor takes as it seems the characters were always on a journey. And the picture is a showcase for the talents of the March family as it features a writer, painter, actress, and musician. The chemistry of the cast is in top notch form with good work from Laura Dern and Emma Watson. May not be everyone's cup of tea still it's a masterful work of storytelling and art!
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Bucket of happiness
blauregenbogen1 January 2020
Love it,one of many remake of that story,brilliant . My favourite is Amy March so funny ,the actress playing the character so well ,fantastic. Lady's movie
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Got to see an advanced screening last night...
Plain-view17 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Not my kind of movie, went with my wife. I've never had a movie move me so much. Several times I got teary-eyed. Gerwig did an excellent job keeping the movie pretty fast-paced for an adaptation of Little Women and the decisions she made were excellent. All of the performances were satisfactory or better. Laughter was frequent as well.

I really cannot imagine a better adaptation of Little Women.
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Great Dames
writers_reign31 December 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I approached this movie and the subsequent report on it with two strikes on me; 1) I am male, and 2) I haven't read the novel. If it comes to that I haven't read any of what we might call 'girl' novels, Anne of Green Gables, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, What Katy Did, and if any were filmed I didn't see them but I do know they EXIST, just as I knew Little Women existed before checking it out. If gorgeous beautifully shot rural settings make for good movies then this is a good movie. In a way it is reminiscent of the nod to Currier & Ives in Meet Me In St Louis except here the accent is rural rather than urban. I have to guess that someone on the 'creative' team has seen fit to make the action move back and forth in no apparent pattern which may well make sense if one knew the book. For instance it wasn't immediately apparent to me that Jo actually lived in New York for blocks of time rather than just travelling to see a publisher - it might also have helped to know the distances involved i.e. was it feasible to make a day trip to Ne York from the area of New England where the Marches make their home. I've already praised the camerawork and the acting is equally good with Laura Dern scoring heavily as the mother whilst Meryl Streep appears to have phoned it in for once.
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Timeless classic that exudes love and warmth
eelen-seth11 December 2019
Greta Gerwig's post-'Lady Bird' female centred 'Little Women', based on the acclaimed novel by Louisa May Alcott, takes us back to the late 19th century in which we follow the lives of the March-family. Numerous adaptations have been made over the past few decades, but Gerwig elevates the material, translating it in a way to appeal to modern audiences, without ever losing the essence of the well known story.

When we first meet the talented Jo (Saoirse Ronan), she's living in New York, teaching girls literature and trying to sell her own stories to the local newspaper. While Jo lives her best life, her hopeless romantic sister Amy (Florence Pugh) lives with her old fashioned aunt (Meryl Streep) in Paris, attending painting classes while hoping for a true love to come rescue her. Other sister Meg (Emma Watson) is happily married with kids and the musically gifted Beth (Eliza Scanlen) has been bedridden with a severe illness. When Jo gets news about Beth's state quickly deteriorating, she leaves everything behind and jumps on the first train home. While Jo naps, we flash back to easier times seven years earlier, when all sisters still lived merrily under one roof.

The first thing you'll notice is the scale on which all of this has been made. Extraordinary production design inside the old mansions surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of Massachusetts, where Little Women was filmed. Let Academy Award winning (for his scores of 'The Shape of Water' and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel') composer Alexandre Desplat set the tone for each scene with his classically infused orchestra, and all you need is talent on screen and on paper.

Luckily Gerwig knows how to write a terrific screenplay and the cast has the most incredible chemistry. The dialogue is riddled with timely jokes and hopelessly romantic discussions, perfect for that time period. It's all part of a bigger picture in which each character has their own story to tell. Saoirse Ronan's (Lady Bird) radiant presence is again noteworthy, more so, she is quickly becoming the best actress in the business. While rising star Florence Pugh (Midsommar) as the truly hilarious and hopelessly obsessed with love, wealth and looks Amy, gives another career defining performance, to leave a mark on today's moviegoers' memory. It's when all four sisters and their mother (played by a comforting Laura Dern) first appear on screen, you'll fall in love with this family. There's a cosiness and homely feeling to their interactions, that will warm you up from the inside. Something this innocent and safe hasn't been brought to the big screen in a very long time and Gerwig knows just how to control your emotions.

After a lot of going back and forth in time - which is quite confusing to begin with, but you get more used to it further down the line when both timelines move forward to meet in the middle - the final third of the film builds up to a gut wrenching conclusion. For some reason, the actual heartbreaking event isn't so much of a surprise, it's the aftermath that truly shatters your heart into tiny pieces and leaves you gasping for air while tears roll down your cheek. Little Women is just as heartwarming as it is excruciatingly sad. Greta Gerwig has made a timeless classic that exudes love. Watching this film will for sure become a new Christmas tradition in many households. What a wonderful gift.

Originally published on intoscreens
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It will be an ageless version
clare_fontaine1 January 2020
I will definitely introduce it to my mom and my girls. I already imagined watching it many years later and still be touched as hell.
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"I want to be great, or nothing." Safe to say, this movie chose great.
heyitskeane2 January 2020
Now this movie is exactly how you start off 2020 right.

Greta Gerwig once again delivers in her reimagination of Little Women, and it is very good. The performances by the entire cast is beautiful; Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Laura Dern, basically everyone is amazing in this movie.

The writing and directing by Gerwig is very well done. As well as the cinematography by Yorick Le Saux, it is spot on. Also credits to Jacqueline Durran for the great outfits and Jess Gonchor for beautiful set design.

The narrative itself is (as I've heard) slightly different compared to the originals and the novel, and it's more tailored towards modern audiences. But that aside, it's still excellent, engaging and heartwarming.

There is one minor flaw with this movie and that's the time-jumps/flashback sequences. During some scenes it's easy to tell which is past and which is present, maybe some characters have a different haircut or the colour tone is contrasting between past and present. But there are a few scenes where the "jumps" are a bit too quick and often that you begin to lose track of which is current.

Other than that, this movie is really enjoyable. One of the most enjoyable movies I've seen in a long, long time. It's nice, funny, sad, cute and gorgeous.
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Little Women Warning: Spoilers
Jo March played by Saoirse Ronan looks back on the lives and loves of herself and her sisters. This is a beautifully crafted film directed by Greta Gerwig. The cinematography is gorgeous so is the costume design and production design. You watch these little women grow from teenager to grown women. Jo is a writer, Amy is a painter, Meg is an actress and Beth is a talented pianist. Ronan was great as Jo and so was new star Florence Pugh as Amy. I loved every part of this film, the acting and everything else ive described. I highly recommend this film.
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Simply Extraordinary
maceman12202 January 2020
So I literally just got home from this movie and I am speechless. I can't stop thinking about it and am literally stumbling across the keyboard writing this review (Apologies if any typos follow).

I have never read the book this is based on, nor have I seen any of the countless adaptations that preceded this one. Having seen this, I don't feel the need to ever see another version.

To break this down by technicals (acting, direction, music, visuals, yada yada yada), all of which were simply superb, would be a disservice to the journey I just experienced. This film captures the way we are with the people we love in such a way that I'm not sure I've ever truly experienced. It feels honest while also poetic. It puts a smile on your face that doesn't leave until it breaks your heart, and then guides you through both until the very last frame.

It feels so of it's time, while simultaneously here and now. It's packed to the gills and full of urgency, and yet it never feels overstuffed or rushed. It's a small story of people, but one that feels grand and epic with its depth and emotion.

Few films have touched me the way this one has. The emotion it distills from you with every frame is simply unbelievable, and this work of art cements Greta Gerwig as one of the greatest storytellers in film. I highly recommend to everyone that they should see this film. I knew almost nothing about it as I entered, and now it is all I can think about.
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Powerful Messages & Performances Add Up To One Of 2019's Best Films
zkonedog30 December 2019
As I sat down in my theater seat for "Little Women", I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had somehow (despite being a pretty prolific reader) never absorbed the original text, so I came into this Greta Gerwig adaption with a clean slate. When the credits rolled, I found myself absolutely blown away by the depth and complexity of both the overall messages and the performances within this story.

For a very basic overview, "Little Women" tells the story of the March sisters--Jo (Saorise Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen). Director Gerwig uses intercutting flash-backs/forwards to examine their lives growing up together and then striking out into the world as individuals. Ostensibly, the character of Jo is focused on the most, as she struggles with how to balance her independence with her potential loneliness in an era that was not kind to women unless marriage was part of the equation.

The original Louisa May Alcott story proves to be a compelling baseline to this film in and of itself. Like I said, as someone who had never read/seen that story before, its themes of sibling friendship/squabbles, growing up poor (yet still helping others along the way), and trying to find one's way in the world as an adult really hit a chord with me. The fact that most of the cast don't share my gender did not in the slightest deter me from relating to all of the film's themes. Tears were brought to my eyes on many different occasions.

Simply via the way the overall movie is structured, Ronan's performance stands out as award-worthy (and is being rewarded as such). Her writing/direction from Gerwig shines just as bright. One concern I had coming into this movie is that the trailers seemed to really be pushing the female-centric, almost feminist angle. Nothing wrong with that approach, but I just tend to prefer some more nuance, and that is exactly what Gerwig provides (I should never have doubted in the first place, I guess, after being impressed by her in "20th Century Women" from a few years ago). In fact, the incredibly emotional conflict within Jo provides the best moments of the entire experience. Nothing preachy or one-sided here.

I also have to add that Timothee Chalamet (as "Laurie") gives what could/should be an award-winning performance of his own. His interaction with every cast member is perfect, whether via humor or gut-wrenching emotion. I hope he is rewarded on par with Ronan.

Overall, "Little Women" proved to be a film that completely caught me off guard in terms of how deep and thoughtful it turned out to be. Not only is the screenplay a gem (potentially more awards for best adaptation?) in its time-hopping, but all the performances and themes match that writing. Without spoiling anything, it also features an ending that will have you mouth agape and pondering its significance long after you leave the theater.
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In love...
bellabuckley-7609030 December 2019
I don't know where to begin but I will start with, it is pure perfection. Couldn't have been done better. I felt every emotion throughout. It makes you feel and think and you finish the film left with a mind wandering. It made me feel and react. That's what film is about, provoking. This definitely did that no doubt about that. I highly recommend, it's now on my list of favourites.
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Ms. Alcott Would Be So Proud.
maryrose77031 December 2019
I have seen every film and TV version of Little Women since I was four. I've read the book 5000+ times and have a favorite copy of the book. I grew up watching the 90s film version with Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, etc, and my mom and sister and I watch it every Christmas together. But THIS adaptation.... This one is the very best, out of all of the adaptations. I just saw it today with my grandmother, and I cried, both happy and sad tears, all throughout this film. It is TRULY the adaptation that Louisa May Alcott would be so proud of. I loved how Greta did this. The cast was phenomenal, the music in it... Everything. Everything was amazing. I, like many others, went into this film already having a favorite adaptation, and I'll be honest, I was a teensy bit skeptical about whether this would be better than my favorite. But oh, it was. And this adaptation will now always be my favorite.
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"God hasn't met my will yet".
bob-the-movie-man3 January 2020
Greta Gerwig's follow up to her Oscar-praised "Lady Bird" from 2017 looks set to repeat the job this year. For it's nothing short of a masterpiece of cinema.

Louisa M. Alcott's semi-autobiographical novel has been filmed before (in 1949 and 1994, together with a number of other TV versions). I've not seen any of these previous versions and (as a literary philistine) I've never read the book either. So the story was new to me and drew me in perfectly.

The March sisters - Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh) and the youngest Beth (Eliza Scanlen) - are being brought up by their mother (Laura Dern) and Aunt (Meryl Streep) while their father (Bob Odenkirk) is away fighting in the Civil War. Also providing a helping hand is the rich neighbour Mr Lawrence (Chris Cooper), whose good-looking but indolent son 'Laurie' (Timothée Chalamet) has had the hots for tom-boy Jo for many years.

Each of the girls has a talent: for Jo it's writing, with her struggling to get her work past the grumpy publisher Mr Dashwood (Tracy Letts, from "Le Mans '66"); for Meg it's acting; for Amy it's painting; and for Beth it's music.

The film follows the lives, loves, successes and misfortunes of the sisters over two periods, split 7 years apart. It's a bumpy ride for some.

It struck me, as the big green BBFC certificate flashed onto the screen, how rare it is to find a "U - Suitable for all" (UK) certificate on a film these days. This is a film that the whole family *could* go and see. My only reservation here would be the way the film zips in and out of the two time periods at will. This might confuse the hell out of younger children. The subject matter of one part of the story may also disturb sensitive kids.

It's a really old-fashioned film - full of melodrama, love, unrequited love, death, charity, ambition and kindness - that builds to a feel-good ending that was totally corny but felt perfect in every way. We need more of this in our lives.

Wow. Just wow. The Oscar Best Actress categories are going to be a bloodied battlefield this year! There have been some GREAT roles for women on screen in the last year, and the Academy will have a job on their hands to narrow the long-list to the short-list this year. I would have tentatively forecast that Renée Zellweger might have had the Best Actor Oscar wrapped up for "Judy". But then here comes Saoirse Ronan. With phenomenal screen presence, she lights up every single scene she's in. Emma Watson and Florence Pugh are great actresses (and both here stand a stab at the Supporting Actress category), but your gaze always falls straight back to Ronan's reaction.

It's also a wonderful performance for newcomer Eliza Scanlen as the youngster Beth: I heard director Greta Gerwig comment (on Edith Bowman's excellent Soundtracking podcast) that Eliza needed less lighting than anyone else on set as she was "naturally luminous"!

Again lodging a cracking performance is the versatile Timothée Chalomet.... does the young chap make a bad film?

When you get to the end of the "cast bit", and you haven't mentioned Meryl Streep and Laura Dern yet, that says a lot!

What comes across more than anything else is just how apt this story is today to the 'girl power' times that we are currently living through. Jo in particular is the rebel of her day, fighting against the conformity of what it was in the time to be an independent woman, and specifically an independent working woman. Some of Alcott's words from the book could even today act as a rallying cry to those looking for greater change.

My reviewing year has certainly got off to a bang with this one. It's a glorious movie, utterly absorbing with ravishing cinematography by Yorick Le Saux and a brilliant soundtrack by Alexandre Desplat: both I suspect likely to feature in Oscar nominations. It's also likely to be nominated in other technical categories including Production Design, Costume and Hair & Makeup.

And I predict that this is inevitably going to be a Christmas favourite to match "The Sound of Music" and "It's a Wonderful Life" in future years.

Comes with a highly recommended tag from me.

(I went to see this again last night and loved it even more... as a result I've upped my rating from 9/10 to 10/10. I think its a masterpiece.)

(For the full graphical review, please check out One Mann's Movies on the web or Facebook. Thanks.)
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Enjoyable with superb acting
sbweightman29 December 2019
An enjoyable period drama about the growing up and loves of a group of sisters in 1800's America. Superb acting from the cast and a great depiction of the presentation of the era, although it is all a bit too clean and idyllic at times. There isn't a strong single plot but instead a selection of events which are interesting enough and never dull, although it can feel a bit jumbled at times due to all the flashbacks.
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Outstanding, moving, beautiful
vanden-889-1393133 January 2020
A wonderful film, incredible screenplay, beautiful character development. The dialog is so intelligent and thoughtful. Beautiful period piece, yet still timeless. Just go and see it.
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Beautiful and Brilliant
meredithsmydoll2 January 2020
Warning: Spoilers
I'd been eager to see this the moment it was announced and it never came close to disappointing me. Such a beautiful adaptation and portrayal of well known and complex characters. Well done to the Greta Gerwig and the cast and crew for re-creating such a masterpiece. I particularly fell in love with the way Pugh portrayed Amy; she turned the character I disliked as a child into one a relate to and aspire to be like as young adult.
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