MOVIE REVIEW: “A Ghost Story” stars Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea, Gone Baby Gone) and Rooney Mara (Lion, The Social Network). It is written and directed by David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon , The Old Man & the Gun). A recently deceased man (Affleck) haunts his house, in search of something that evolves into an eternal quest steeped in love, loss, and life itself.
Like quite a few of the films I review, “A Ghost Story” was one I was looking forward to seeing once the trailer dropped, only to let it slip through the cracks and out of sight… until now. Obviously, if you’ve heard of this film (or have seen the trailer I have linked below), you know it’s an odd one. It’s surreal, quiet, and seeks to be poetic; I smell an art piece. Popcorn viewers may shrug their shoulders at it, but film enthusiasts will surely get a kick. “A Ghost Story” is rich in visuals and performance, all of which is utilized in the most restrictive of ways. Save for a few moments, the entire narrative takes place in one setting: a house. Our ghost friend never leaves this house, as it is waiting for someone to return. Years pass and this is shown wonderfully through meticulous cutting and cinematography. Hardly anything is said, save for a few scenes shared between our leads Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck (whose lines are still sparse), and a lengthy monologue by a random character who is at a party within the house. Director David Lowery sought to tell a few things with this story, the basis of which is the idea of leaving your first purchased home. In an interview I saw with him, he wanted to tell a tale that evoked the emotions he had when his wife and him were leaving the first house they moved in to, and how it was a difficult process for him. His grief was then placed in the character played by Casey Affleck and “A Ghost Story” was birthed. Why tell a straightforward story of not wanting to move when you could make something somber, ethereal, and (dare I say it) arthouse? I like Lowery’s ingenuity, and the film itself is beautiful. Sure, it’s not for the impatient mind (Lowery has some long shots in this, one having us see Mars eat half a pie without saying anything, or involving any cuts), but if you’re in the mood for something quiet, “A Ghost Story” is a beautiful recommendation. The performances work, the tone is consistent, and the payoff is nice. I kind of knew how it would all play out (seeing as how there’s really one objective), but it was interesting to see how this story would unfold. The theme isn’t that complex, nor is the resolution (besides wondering what was written on the note), and while I did find my mind drifting at certain times, I did enjoy my experience as a whole. “A Ghost Story” takes something basic and makes it original, with enough poetic arsenal to keep a film hipster talking for hours. For those of you looking for something unique, I’d recommend this one. FINAL SCORE: 91%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer:
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