Credit: Wilson Webb/Columbia Pictures

Little Women (2019 movie)

Greta Gerwig‘s Little Women received a big response after an early screening took place in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

The director of the Louisa May Alcott novel adaptation joined members of her cast — Saoirse Ronan, Timothée Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Meryl Streep, and Laura Dern — to present the film, which is now being called “fresh,” “heartfelt,” and “delightful” by critics and awards pundits.

EW’s Awardist columnist David Canfield calls Little Women one of his “very favorite movies of the year.”

“Greta Gerwig delivers a both passionately faithful and gorgeously original take,” he tweeted.

PEOPLE‘s Kara Warner described the work as “a loving, meticulously crafted adaptation that exceeded my expectations. Heartfelt, moving, and a terrific showcase for its extremely talented cast and beloved source material.”

Little Women stars Ronan as Jo March, Alcott’s alter ego in the original novel who reflects on her life with her sisters, all determined to live their lives on their own terms. Emma Watson plays Meg March, Pugh plays Amy March, and Sharp Objects‘ Eliza Scanlen plays Beth March. Chalamet also stars as Laurie, a love interest for Jo, despite her constant rebuffs, while Streep takes the role of Aunt March and Dern portrays Marmee March.

“Greta Gerwig takes the straightforward story of LITTLE WOMEN and boldly scrambles it, starting two-thirds of the way through and retelling most of what you remember via flashbacks and cross-cutting,” The New York Times‘ Carpetbagger columnist Kyle Buchanan tweeted. “Call it Louisa May Alcott meets 21 GRAMS.”

Read more reactions below.

Little Women opens in theaters on Dec. 25.

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Little Women (2019 movie)
Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, and Eliza Scanlen star as the March sisters in Greta Gerwig's adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel.
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