Movie Review: A Ghost Story

Weird does not begin to describe director David Lowery’s new film A Ghost Story. More adjectives are needed to explain this experimental drama that examines life, death and time. Unorthodox, creepy, sad, beautiful and thought-provoking are just a few words to illustrate what is going on in this unusual work that pulls you into this voyeuristic look at a ghost and the people he chooses to watch every day until the end of time. This is not a horror movie even though the paranormal is involved, but an undertaking that will haunt you long after the movie is over if you’re willing to be patient with the story.

A Ghost Story is definitely not a film for the masses. The pace can be a painfully slow burn as you literally watch some of our main players eating and sleeping for extended periods of time. This ghostly encounter also goes long stretches with very little dialogue. To say this is a quiet little film is an understatement. Don’t expect A Ghost Story to explain a great deal of what you’re seeing on-screen either, which is shot with an aspect ratio of 1:33:1 giving the film a curved box look resembling an old photograph. As an audience member, you are meant to observe this couple only referred to as “C” (Casey Affleck) and “M” (Rooney Mara) in the film as they deal with a terrible accident that leaves C haunting his former lover and all future residents of the home.

Academy Award winner Casey Affleck spends most of the movie underneath a white medical sheet presenting the audience with a surreal experience in A Ghost Story that makes you question your own mortality. You begin to wonder if you would be able to move on to the other side or risk an eternity of solitude to remain with your loved ones becoming the bumps in the middle of the night that are a desperate attempt for attention. Even though the ghost at times seems ridiculous standing in the corner of the room with his cut out eye holes, somehow Affleck makes you feel pity for this marooned specter who seems unable to let go of the place he once called home.

There is no doubt A Ghost Story will be a little seen and polarizing work of art. It’s bizarre, creepy, heartfelt and not the most exciting watch in terms of action and explanation. Still this exploration into loss, purpose and time itself manages to stick with you. This is brave story telling by David Lowery knowing most of the public will dismiss this project immediately. One thing is for sure. You will be looking over your shoulder every time you’re alone and asking yourself so many questions as to what you just witnessed during this odd and unique ghost story.

Overall, I give A Ghost Story 3 out of 4 stars.

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