Like so many, Greta Gerwig’s childhood was forever changed by the words of Louisa May Alcott and her seminal work, Little Women. What Gerwig saw in Alcott’s writing—and specifically in the home of the March sisters—was a sort of egalitarian utopia where no dream was too big and no feeling unwarranted. That, naturally, was the world she aimed to create when adapting the beloved novel for her film, opening in theaters on December 25. Earlier this month, we were invited to Concord, Massachusetts to chat with the director just across the street from the very home that Alcott grew up in. Gerwig shared some of her favorite moments from the book that feel surprisingly contemporary, told us why she wanted to avoid anachronisms, and explained how Alexandre Desplat’s score was inspired by both Mozart and David Bowie.