Updated: Jul 5, 2018
"We build our legacy piece by piece and maybe the whole world will remember you or maybe just a couple of people, but you do what you can to make sure you're still around after you're gone." -Oversharing Man, A Ghost Story
You know how they say your body is made of about 75% water, well I just cried most of it out. I’m glad to call it a new favorite. I've been waiting for A Ghost Story since January, and when it finally was released everywhere this past week, I was there front and center.
A Ghost story is once in a lifetime movie of love, existentialism, and grief. It is the story of C (Casey Affleck) & M(Rooney Mara), and how C moves and feels through time as a white-sheeted ghost after his abrupt death.
A Ghost Story is a perfect story. Not to mention, you only have to look at Casey Affleck for about fifteen minutes then there’s a sheet over his head for the next hour and forty-five.
THE WHOLE MOVIE(minus the pie scene).
The soundtrack, scored by Daniel Hart, is one of my favorites, and I immediately added it to my Spotify when I got home. Each note has such a hauntingly emotional quality, you can't help but get chills when you hear it. Music, along with dialogue, isn't heard complete throughout making for some intense minutes of pure silence.
A lot of the success of the movie is in the directing and the cinematography, however. It was a stunning movie to look at it. I wouldn't mind having this movie be on a continuous loop, because you know at whatever point you look up it'll be a beautiful image on the screen. The slight vintage feel it also had, with the light filters and 8mm framing created an incredible sense of mournful nostalgia. Especially when C was walking back home as a ghost-- breathtaking.
This movie was also oddly funny at times. Maybe not funny, but "cute." Which is exactly what it needed to set it over the top for me. There was another ghost that "lived" next door, and the minor and quick subtle interactions between the two were odd but always ended with a profound question that went unspoken. Rather, only proposed in silence and shots of C that revealed nothing. Each interaction had something new to bring that made the movie even more mysterious.
It is in the silence, in which, I think the power of the film lies. There are no facial features to receive emotions from, there isn't any body language, yet you somewhat know what feeling is being portrayed. Given away only by steady close-ups, well-timed creeks, or erratic flickering of lights with the added power of an excellent score.
Finally, the end. Lord, have mercy, that ending.
I wanted to scream and cry. Yet, I was happy at the same time. And for me, that is the sign of excellent movie. When a person doesn’t know what they feel, but know they feel something is an effect so hard to achieve. For most movies it so cut and dry as to how the outcome of a movie makes you feel. You like it or you don’t; it makes you happy or it makes you sad. But, with this film, you feel everything, and you sit there at the end of the credits with the theatre lights coming on-- just stunned. The theater crew comes in and just stares at you, waiting for you to leave. But you can’t move. Because the movie- THE ENDING- is just. That. Good.
At the end of the day, Film is Art and is that not purpose of Art? To provoke emotions(plural). Which is why movies like Moonlight, Lion, The Neon Demon, and Arrival are so good. They make you feel everything and nothing all at the same time.
I always look forward to A24, though it missed me and completely messed up with It Comes At Night, it certainly brought me back with A Ghost Story. A big round of applause to director and writer, David Lowery. Especially for that monologue from the oversharing man(Jonny Mars) that makes you questions your own purpose in life. FANTASTIC.
Look, I obviously love this movie, but they knew they were doing FAR too much with that five-minute pie eating scene. Like, really? No one thought this might be a good time for a little time lapse or creative editing. I mean, all you hear is this chewing, emotional sniffling and the sound of the fork on what must be a burnt pie. Linda(Liz Franke), should not make any more pies; not only was it burnt, but the chick threw up after eating it (she basically inhaled in it five minutes too-- so there's that). I was pretty much over this scene 30 seconds after she had started into it. This was also when most people in the movie there began to leave. I get it was one those scenes that is meant to make you uncomfortable and show the characters emotions, but like are you serious?
Right in front of my salad?
FLOOR OR DOOR?
Should it have been left on the cutting room floor or should you be running out the door to see it?
Door. RUN! SPRINT! DASH! Out the door to see this movie. It won't be in theaters long, and nothing is like seeing this movie on the big screen.
Who knows maybe, it'll be your new favorite along with mine. Definitely securing a high spot in my Top Ten.
Now I got to go rethink some things.