Little Women (2019)

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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.
9.5/10 (Breathtaking)

 

Lady Bird (2017)

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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.
8/10 (Great)

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

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The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. (IMDb)
The visuals are so remarkably entrancing and vibrantly varied here (hotels, prisons, mansions, and mountaintops) that you find yourself as excited to see what the next scene looks like as much as what happens in it–and that’s not to say the writing is sub-par: Within a cute 4-tiered narrative, a wild and wacky plot of murder, money, and escape takes place with plenty of quirky characters (Fiennes is fantastic) and well-placed bits of goofiness and expletives that break up the dazzling dialogue.
8.5/10 (Amazing)

 

The Lovely Bones (2009)

A mixed-bag of a film: The plot leading up Suzy’s murder is full of wonderfully uncomfortable edge-of-your-seat suspense, and the emotion and drama that follow her death in dealing with the loss and looking for the killer is just as captivating, and is captured by excellent camerawork and great performances all around. The mystical afterlife scenes, however, feel fluffy and boring in comparison with the gritty suspense of the scenes on earth. Overall, a good movie that could have been great.
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