Little Women and 1917: Possible Oscar rivals get rave reviews

One is a war film made by a James Bond director. The other is a new version of Little Women from the last woman to get an Oscar nomination for best director.

They have now both been billed as two of the best films of the year.

Reviews for 1917 and Little Women have just come out, and critics are raving about both. Empire magazine said Little Women confirmed director Greta Gerwig as "a major talent in American cinema".

And The Times declared Sam Mendes' 1917 "an Oscar-night frontrunner".

"If there were any remaining doubts that Greta Gerwig is a major talent in American cinema, put them to rest now," wrote Empire critic Helen O'Hara.

Gerwig received an Oscar nomination for best director for Ladybird in 2017 - the only woman to have been up for that award since 2010.

Now, she might repeat that feat for adapting Louisa May Alcott's classic autobiographical novel of sisterhood. The star-studded cast includes Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Laura Dern and Meryl Streep.

Little Women has been on the big screen several times before, but O'Hara said this is now the "definitive" version. "Gerwig takes several bold storytelling choices that make this adaptation quite unlike any of its predecessors," her five-star review said.