In order to fully enjoy “Little Women,” it seems, one must first read the novel. Because I skipped over that class in high school and, to be honest, I had little idea what was going on for most of the movie.

With that being said, it was lovely. We love Greta Gerwig, and each scene was fully of charming interactions between all the various little women and Timothee Chamalet’s character, who seemed intent on flirting with each of them.

But, more importantly than the movie was a preview shown before it started, for a film called “First Cow.”

It is about a man, who despite appearances is portrayed by someone named John Magaro and not Shia LaBeouf, that is living in the Oregon Territory and starts a successful business with his friend selling some sort of pancake-looking thing. In order to achieve the fluffy center than any pancake-related baked good must achieve, he has to use milk from a cow — the only cow in the West, according to some old man who appears to be the cow’s owner.

Now, obviously hoofed creatures are a touchy subject, and a bold choice to center in a commercially release film. On one hand, cows are delightful and cuddly, and produce milk and cheese. And then there’s goats, who would be the perfect housepet if only they were not so bony and loud.

However, there is also the matter of horses, or, as some people call them, the maned devils of the grasslands.

Horses are mean, and prone to kicking, and in the biology textbook I received in 10th grade there was a picture of one with teeth the size of my thumb and nobody needs teeth that big just to eat grass.

Christopher Reeves, who played Superman in the 1970s, thought horses were something to be friends with. He, an unbreakable superhero, was sadly proven wrong when one tossed him to the ground and broke his back. And if Superman can’t come through a horse ride intact, who can?

So not all hoofed animals are to be trusted. But cows are good, and a cow is what this movie will be about.

And the trailer raises so many questions!

What, exactly, is this fried dough being sold? Does it have a name? Is it sugary, like an elephant ear, or more savory, like corn fritters? Is the milk being used fresh, or is it converted to buttermilk? Or, perhaps it is used in multiple forms? The possibilities are endless.

Either way, “First Cow” promises to be the movie release of the year. It has a cow (which is good), it has Oregon (which is good) and it even has a delightful snack (also good). Seeing the trailer really sets the tone for “Little Women,” and will surely play a major part in any awards Greta Gerwig or her cast win.

The trailer for “First Cow” is shown very close to the start of “Little Women,” so even if you don’t arrive early for all the trailers you will probably catch it. And, since you’re already there, you might as well stay for the rest of the show.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 — minus one because nobody seems to age, which is a bit confusing, but plus one because of the “First Cow” trailer.

Noah Ripley can be reached at nripley@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4205.

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