Jo March reflects back and forth on her life, telling the beloved story of the March sisters – four young women each determined to live life on their own terms. (IMDb)
The timeline hopping is cleverly and masterfully executed (see the warm vs. cold tones, mirrored shots) and adds remarkable emotional depth (see Jo walking down the stairs x2) to what is an already extremely well-written (and acted) web of characters (to the big emotional moments are added many brilliant little overlapping quips and quibbles). Often hilarious (“I’m making a mould of my foot for Laurie to remind him I have nice feet!”) and always heartfelt, with a delightfully cheeky ending.
A man from Los Angeles, who moved to New York years ago, returns to L.A. to figure out his life while he house-sits for his brother. He soon sparks with his brother’s assistant. (IMDb)
The “slice of life”-type dramedy is nailed by everyone involved here: Achingly authentic scenarios (see Greenberg with bitter Beller; his date with Beth) are played out with perfect dialogue, strong turns from the whole cast, and smart edits (see Greenberg catching up at Beller’s party). Stiller’s uptight lead is loveably cynical (“Life is wasted on people”) and complimented perfectly by Ifans’ chill Ivan and Gerwig’s far-from-one-note-romantic interest who has her own share of issues.
7.5/10 (Really Good)
Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog. (IMDb)
Awe-inspiring animation, as expected, with an amazing attention to detail (petals on noses, fur blowing in the wind), breathtaking landscapes (see the journey montages), a variety of unique shots (see the shadowy discussion in the bottle cave), creative storytelling devices (see the split-screens), and fun flourishes (see the sushi-making). A welcome surprise is the engaging hard-boiled political drama added to Anderson’s typically quirky comedy (the gossiping goofy alpha dog pack is great).
In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California. (IMDb)
By and large just a nicely-shot and scored roller-coaster ride of short snippets of authentic, angsty teen life, marvelously written and acted, with as much laugh-out-loud humour (too-cool Kyle is a one-liner gold mine: “I’m trying to live by bartering alone”) as feisty drama (mother-daughter are the headline here; see their opening exchange in the car) and feel-good moments (see the girls at prom). The slower scenes (see post-sex) feel a little awkward in comparison, but maybe that’s the point.