A Ghost Story Reviews
David Lowery, writer and director of A Ghost Story, tasked himself with a daunting challenge for an artist of any medium: to represent eternity. In total, he needs just 92 minutes.
The ghost's story is C's, played by Casey Affleck when alive and played by Casey Affleck in a sheet when dead. As we imagine true to the story of most ghosts, he clings to something left behind in this world. In C's case, it's a note from his lover, M (Rooney Mara), maybe a final goodbye, maybe not, but something final in any case. Without it, C is stranded in eternity, an unscathed bystander forced to bear witness to the timely decrepitude of materialism. He has an eternity to long for the only momentary. And we long with him.
A Ghost Story is an elegy to love written in time. Alternately still and rhapsodic, Lowery gives us the painful felt sense of moments lived, with long-takes of quiet domestic tedium, but also the sensation of time passing us by, as a turn of the head eclipses a year or a decade, and centuries are lost in a jump-cut. The minutes sometimes tick, sometimes breathe, sometimes swirl.
In this film, to see time is to see beyond it. Our habitual inclination is to frame eternity linearly, with a beginning and, if not an end, then at least a movement towards where an end could theoretically be. A Ghost Story resists such illusions. What it finds instead is an experience far more vast than the countdown of its run-time.
DVD Movie Review: A Ghost Story
Date Viewed: November 5 2017
Written and Directed By David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints and Pete's Dragon)
Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will Oldham, Sonia Acevedo, Rob Zabrecky, Liz Franke, Grover Coulson, Kenneisha Thompson, Barlow Jacobs and McColm Sephas, Jr..
The posters for "A Ghost Story" make the movie look like a silly and laughable horror flick. It isn't anything like that at all. "A Ghost Story" is an emotionally haunting melodrama that will connect with you in ways you won't expect. Fresh from his Best Actor Oscar win for "Manchester by the Sea", Casey Affleck delivers another powerful performance as a man who dies in a terrible car accident and he is brought back to life as a white-sheeted ghost. This "Story" does sound odd and strange but writer and director David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints and Pete's Dragon) flips the switch and turns it into something special. Sure, Affleck is in a white-sheeted ghost costume for a good chunk of the film but we still feel his presence on screen. Rooney Mara is also gives a terrific performance as Affleck's grieving widow.
"A Ghost Story" didn't feel like the typical cinematic experience, this is a movie that has something to say about death, love, humanity and loneliness. It is one of the most emotionally poetic films I've seen in years. "A Ghost Story" follows a struggling musician (Affleck) who lives in a small suburban home with his wife (Mara). One night, he hears a loud bang on their piano but he can't find what caused the noise. The next day, he dies in a terrible car accident just outside his house but he wakes up in the hospital as a ghost. The man is not a ghost from the supernatural world, he is a white-sheeted ghost with two black holes for eyes. He wanders through the hospital to see if anybody can see him but nobody does.
When he returns to his home, he sees his wife grieving and he watches her for days and weeks not knowing that her recently-deceased husband is still present in her house. Eventually, the ghost sees a second ghost living next door, this ghost is female and she wordlessly tells him that she is waiting for someone but she can't remember who. With the love of his life slowly slipping away from him, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through time and memory and he searches for something. We don't know what it is, could it be something from his love life he missed or could it be something from his past?
This bleak and emotionally compelling film also plays with horror movie tropes, the lights flipping on and off, books being thrown out of book shelves and weird noises in the night but it never feels obligatory. The cinematography by Andrew Droz Palermo is gorgeous to look at and the screenplay is ambitiously original. "A Ghost Story" is one of those outside the mainstream films that's so unforgettable, I might be thinking about seeing it a second time.
The biggest emotional surge is frustration at the end, not knowing what the msg was about
Overal, this whole experience is like being in a massive prank by the director, like making audience see a 10 min scene of pie eating (wtf her pain is not fustration of forced boredom, she lost a bloody husband it can't be compared if u lost anything, cat, dog, toys u should know) then the depressing monologue by a know it all hippy, who seemed to successfully convinced others to a pointless existence. Why? To coincidentally add to the shitty mood? Cheap shot.
Finally the mother of all cheap shots, make u sit and wait for the whole movie to finally not know why it happened. Is this not intentionally designed to pissed the viewer off? Don't cover these cheap shot as art; unless ur admitting that ur art is just cheap exploitation of social abnormality. What does it feel like to waste everybody's time?
There's a reason the Critic Rating and Audience rating are so different.