Dan Holford’s review published on Letterboxd:
I’ve never been a fan of period pieces, they never really gripped me, and I’ve often found them quite dull. But this was different, tonally it’s quirky, charming, funny, and rather warm, despite the amount of sadness that the tale includes. It’s a perfect mixture of rather modernising a classic tale for today’s audiences, the dialogue is quick and funny, and the pacing is excellent, never spending too much time on each moment but giving enough time to really be effective.
Somehow I knew little to nothing about the book, so all the plot beats came as a surprise to me. But it’s so effortlessly well made and told, that it’s immediately easy to be brought into this time period and world in which the characters live. I really liked how the story was told, cutting back and forth between two time periods really works, moments that set up the flashbacks, and off hand words spoken to create great story beats.
The cast are all outstanding, especially Saoirse Ronan, she really keeps the entire heart of the film and is just as good here as her best moments in Lady Bird. She’s at the centre of most of the movie, and she does a really great job. You instantly understand her character and feelings, and feel genuine emotions as you follow her characters arc through the run time. Timothee chalamet, is fantastic as well, playing against his usual brooding character and putting in a fun and effortlessly charming portrayal. Though, I do think that Florence Pugh, someone who’s had a fantastic year in film, is once again great in this movie. The cast all look like they’re having so much fun in most of the movie, and it’s so easy to get drawn in with them being so likeable.
Greta Gerwig has once again proved why she is such a good director, being only her second directed movie (and second for me giving 5 stars too), I cannot wait for what else she does. There’s a lot of choices I like here, different colour schemes for the the times the movie is told, and a few great moments where the characters directly read their letters they have written to camera, a really nice touch. The movie all looks great, the snow and warmth of the inside of the families house, and how it alters depending on the mood of the scene all feels so natural and well made.
Probably the last movie I’ll see in 2019, and so glad it’s one of the best I’ve seen. An definite blu ray buy and rewatch. I can’t recommend enough.