Ghost World Reviews
I watched it on Stars which recommended it as a comedy. I'm not sure I'd call it exactly a comedy, although it was reminiscent of Harold and Maude, minus the extreme dark humor. It did have a lot of humor, but more of an alt-humor.
The ending was perfect, but left the movie in a sort of difficult-to-deal-with space. The film has an honesty about a pessimistic take on life that puts the character's downward path in place of the normal uplifting story of overcoming obstacles to fulfill your dream, so when Enid (Birch) fulfills her fantasy it is sort of the ultimate failure. This leaves us to question the ultimate meaning of the ending, and exactly what the point is.
Which makes this a powerful piece of film-making. It is odd, strangely paced, mildly depressing and it made me think. It would be a great movie to see with a group of friends who likes to sit around and talk about what a movie or book meant.
Enid uses an historical advertising poster as an art project, which is placed in an art show, but as it creates social discontent, a scathing newspaper article, and she fails to defend the work, she consequently fails the class and fails to graduate. Meanwhile there's a lot of other stuff happening in this movie, it's definitely busy and not without entanglements and subplots.
Rebecca's journey is different than Enid's. As she succeeds at gainful employment and moves into her apartment, we see it's a better neighborhood, going from decaying walls and dead sidewalk jeans to freshly cut green grass and tall well-maintained buildings. Rebecca's apartment is even walled in white and carpeted in red as she gets over her youthful animosity and gains independence. While Rebecca progresses, Enid falters, getting more involved with Seymour, who is an older man. That's when this movie turns into one of those romance features with the older man and young girl. After they have sex, Seymour ends his relationship with another woman thinking Enid and he are mutually exclusive. When he discovers Enid isn't interested in a further relationship, his life falls apart, and he apparently loses his job, sees a therapist, and has to live with his mother with whom he doesn't get along. Enid is at a loss, as she's gained nothing from her experiences.
One of the other characters, who also has a subplot, is an old man named Norman who persistently sits at an out of service bus stop that's been out of service for a long time. Despite it being out of service, he sits and waits for the bus, which he's convinced will someday arrive. Enid assumes Norman's confused, the impression is that he may have early dementia. After several scenes throughout the movie with him at the bus stop, one evening Enid witnesses him being picked up by a bus. It's as if he becomes the man who vowed to sit at the stop until the city decided to resume buses through his neighborhood. Whyever that bus comes through, Enid takes advantage of this, packs a small case, and finally leaves her neighborhood to parts unknown. And that's the end. Based on Enid's history, we don't know if that's a good thing for her or not. Really, it just ends with a bus travelling over a bridge.
Although much of the color choices and imagery express the characters' moods, this movie comes off as overly convoluted and a little insane rather than brilliantly prosaic. Considering this movie is made by the same man who made CRUMB and BAD SANTA, insane might be what he was going for. It is definitely a darkly comedic look at underachievement. At times this movie seems to be struggling to express itself like the summer high school art students. On the other hand, the film's rambling struggles may be an immersive reflection of the characters' struggles. Overall, this film is more interesting than entertaining, and that can be a good thing. Even after all that, as Enid rides off in the end it's hardly optimistic, but more like a ghost bus driving off into a ghost world where old Norman finally caught the same bus that was not in service.
The plot follows a pair of teenage girls, two girls Enid (Thora Birch) and her best friend Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) as they leave high school behind and drift into adulthood. Both girls, particularly Enid, are the type of person that does not have to 'be cool.' They see themselves as calm, intelligent and in many ways above their peers. This being said, they don't come off as stuck up, rather they have an inner confidence in spite of some underlying insecurities. Rebecca is trying to get on with her life. She has gotten a meaningless job in a coffee house and has gotten used to boys and men always hitting on her. Enid, on the other hand, is beginning to feel left behind. She still rebels against the ever-present pseudo intellectual people that populate the world. Bored and possessing no certain plans the girls read a personal ad where a man is desperate to meet with a young woman he passed a while ago. The girls call the man, Seymour (Steve Buscemi) and watch as his hopes are dashed when the girl does not show. Enid is interested in how this person lives, and they follow him to his apartment. In turn, Enid goes to a weekly swap meet where Seymour sells old records. She buys an old delta blues album and finds herself enthralled with it. A friendship develops with Seymour as the one with Rebecca drifts apart. Enid is determined to find Seymour, a woman. It appears that by curing his loneliness can somehow help her cope with her own. While watching this film, I found certain scenes difficult because they invoked a sense of empathic awkwardness. One of the most compelling aspects of the film is its ability to remind the viewer of their teenage years, particularly the disconcerting, post high school angst of facing life as an adult. It is natural to attempt to repress these moments, but this movie is exceptionally well crafted, allowing you to revisit them but simultaneously able to enjoy the experience thanks to the separation of time,
Thora Birch is excellent in this film. At times it is almost an extension of her role in American Beauty. She is the young girl who feels out of place with almost everyone, her best friend being prettier than her and getting all the male attention, yet possessing the intelligence and wit to overcome this and grow as an individual. Birch has made the transition from child actress to young adult far better than most. She lives in her role, creating a character that the audience has to feel. In a few scenes her expletive laced language shocks poor Seymour, but there the words are not used for shock value but demonstrate how the differences in vocabulary mirror the differences in their lives. It is the acting of Ms. Birch that makes it so believable that these two can hope for a deep friendship. Your mind never drifts to the over used older man/younger woman trap that any mainstream teen movie would impose on the audience. In many ways, her performance here reminded me of Adrienne Shelly in Hal Hartley's classic 'Trust.' Two incomplete peoplemanage to develop a link with each other that manages to complete each of them. As always Buscemi shines in his role as Seymour. This actor has two distinct careers, one as a mainstream character actor, and the other as an independent leading man. While he succeeds in both worlds, I have always enjoyed his Indy roles more. With these films, this actor has a much better setting to display his talent. Here, his Seymour is on the face pathetic, but there is depth to his character. Much like his role in his own 'Trees Lounge' he shows a man that is living a quiet life of desperation that finds everything around him changing. Illeana Douglas plays one important secondary character. She is Roberta, the teacher of Enid's remedial summer art class. She is politically correct to the nth degree. A pseudo free spirit that cares less about art than the 'statement' it should make. In all the cast here is wonderful.
Terry Zwigoff directed this tale of everyday life. He is not a well-known' director, titles like 'Crumb' a biography of the hippy cartoonist R. Crumb, and 'Louie Bluie' a documentary about a blues singer. Like Seymour Zwigoff is into blues, old records and this shows in his understanding of his characters. Zwigoff co-wrote this film with the creator of the comic, Daniel Clowes. Together the two nail the story making it compelling and entertaining. Zwigloff's style as a director is not as straightforward as it may appear in the first viewing. Watch this movie over a few times and the little details will start to hit you. An infection here or prop there but the synergy they provide the film will add to your experience. There is a pervasive darkness that infuses the film serving as the foundation of the principle characters. Typically a movie about teenagers ends with high school graduation. For Enid and Becky, that event was the star of a new chapter. Rather than a point in life to celebrate, uplifted by successfully navigating the four treacherous years of high school they discover that little of what they learned during that period prepared them for undertaking the harsh realities of life. The Criterion Collection release preserved the film precisely as the director untended as noted in the press release and liner notes the director personally approved of this edition. The subtitle nuances provided by the director Terry Zwigoff wayrealized through the imagery. The set design and costuming juxtapose a sense of realism juxtapose a sense of realism with the visual artistry that brought the graphic novel to life, not until the meticulous restoration work performed for this release preserved the artistic integrity and author's vision as the story migrated to the high definition format of a Blu-ray film. Even if you posseses the previous edition you should investe and enjoythis upgrade. Don't be disappointed that the disc lacks the full multi-channel audio. The presentation of this movie the medium is in the message, not the presentation.
Enid and Rebecca is the best friend whom is high school students and they were not leading high school life like boring, and have just graduated from high school.
This story about after they graduate school. I thought to meet one person who is a social outsider loves a record is change their life especially Enid.
After graduating high school, they decided not go to college and try to get a job, so they did one thing after another without planning beforehand. But in my point of view, they came to live together is a good thing. And finally, at the place where Enid goes out of town on a "ghost bus" that should not pass there. As I think Enid changed life like the different point of a view life.
It taught me to my life is changed by on your own and doing what one likes is important it is because, meeting lots of different people will make you grow.
Don't be afraid of mistakes, and I will go forward to believe in yourself.
I want to live every day in a meaningful way so that I will not regret it afterward.
It is because like Enid and Rebecca when they were higher school students, spending time without thinking is a waste of time.
If you watch this movie, you could change your mind of life.
I recommend it people who would like live a satisfying life.
The reason why I chose this movie is some girl teenagers are posting this movie with their comment on Instagram. Mostly they said good thing, so I looked forward to watch this one. Honestly, I didn't understand the message of movie. Maybe it described teenager's problem like us, but story was boring. I watched without subtitles, so I couldn't understand perfectly and that was reason why I felt boring. I like Enid's outfit and her closet, that were so awesome!
After graduated high school, Enid and Rebecca thought their course, but they decided one thing that live together. They like to find strangers and talk about them, so they like to strange thing. One day, they called number on magazine of course that was just their hobby. After that, they met Seymour who were collecting records and Enid crushed on him. On the other hand, Rebecca started working at coffee shop. She prepared to become adult and know society. So they made distance from each other. Conversely Enid and Seymour's relationship got close and close. However, few days later, Seymour came across accident. After that, what will Enid do for Seymour and Rebecca...?
I thought there were similar situations like Enid and Rebecca's way of thinking became different gradually in our daily life. So, maybe some girls agree with that situation. Rebecca aka Scarlett Johansson is a famous actress now, and if you watch this movie, you can watch and know her when she was young.However, nevertheless, I don't like so much this movie.
I read some reviews about this movie and most review are over 4 points, so most people could enjoy this one. This movie's time is about 2 hours, so I thought if it has 2 hours, please describe more details!:( I will watch this one again in my language.
As Buscemi sums things up himself near the end: "Things are really starting to look up for me after my ...uh, life turned to shit."
Even when the rythm and directing dont help as much to elevate the narrative to new heights, Ghost World is captivating beyond doubt, thanks to its wonderfully constructed world full of brilliant details and funny and apropiate commentary.