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One Movie Punch

Jan 10, 2018

Today’s movie is David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story”, starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. This minimalist film follows the story of C (Casey Affleck), who is in disagreement with M (Rooney Mara) about moving out of their home. C is reluctant to leave, feeling a connection to the home.

Near the date of their departure, C is killed in a car accident outside their home. M heads to the hospital where she says her final goodbyes. C then rises as a bed-sheet covered ghost, drawn back to their home where he observes what takes place after his death. M eventually decides to move on with her life, leaving a note in the wall, but also leaving behind the ghost, who remains to wait for her return.

A24 acquired the rights for the film, which fits their mold for audacious independent films. Lowery puts together a profound small cast film, using sparse dialogue and stark sets. It’s not so much of a film as a moving tapestry of symbolism requiring a very patient, willing audience. Some scenes are painfully slow, causing my interest to wane. I can only watch someone grief-eat a pie for so long.

I also felt the film was unbalanced, with a lot of space in the beginning and a lot crammed in towards the end. I did enjoy how Lowery brings everything together at the end. It was clever, but not too clever, allowing for some interesting storytelling.

I will say this about the film: it will haunt you. Lowery loosely embeds a great deal of symbolism that will allow viewers to draw multiple, disparate conclusions. Even after being turned off by the initial slowness, I still find myself reflecting on the film, finding my own connections. Ultimately, I came to like the film, but not love it.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91% (CERTIFIED)

Metacritic: 84

One Movie Punch: 6.4/10

“A Ghost Story” (2017) is rated R and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.