gabriel’s review published on Letterboxd:
All I knew going into "A Ghost Story" was that it was artsy and not a horror film. I also heard that it was really good. After watching it, I concur.
This film is an original, thought-provoking experience. I sincerely mean "experience" because this is the type of film that cannot be completely spoiled or summarized. The viewer must watch it if they truly want to feel the main character's loneliness, anguish, and boredom. The execution of this experience is accomplished with long silences, near-stagnant scenes, and slow pacing overall.
I love slow-paced films. While fast-paced films have their place in action, comedy, and any other genre that serve to rouse excitement, slow films demand thought and emotion. Though I loved the pace overall, I do question its placement and longevity at times. For example, did the scenes before the death and before the ghost's "awakening" need to be so long? I would have preferred scenes like the one with the "portal" in the hospital to be longer to show the ghost's hesitance and train of thought, questioning to go forward to a potential afterlife or stay behind. Instead, I was treated to a scene in which Rooney Mara eats so much pie that I believe she legitimately vomited. While I wish some scenes were shorter and others longer, I understand why some seemingly pointless scenes last so long in the beginning: they serve to establish the lingering mood that accompanies watching nearly nothing and nearly everything happen in a place while not having the power or horrific audacity to do much.
Overall, "A Ghost Story" accomplishes a lot in a fairly average runtime that shows very little in a unique story from a ghost's point-of-view rather than the living witnessing the ghost.