Mike Torchic’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have no fucking clue what to write about this film.
David Lowery is someone who I haven’t seen much of. The only other film of his I’ve seen is Pete’s Dragon, a film I think is the best Disney live action remake thus far. A Ghost Story has been getting a lot of critical praise, and after seeing it I can understand why.
The whole film has a surreal/dreamlike quality. The things that happen onscreen feel unnatural and make you question what’s “really” going on. However, I felt like in its own way, it all worked. The whole aesthetic of the film fees really unique, almost like something out of the 1980’s. The aspect ratio is formatted in a way where the picture is a box, not using widescreen or the letterbox format. This almost helps the viewer feel what Casey Affleck’s character is feeling. He sees all of this shit happen around him, but he’s boxed into a world where he can just watch what’s happening.
A big theme of the film is existentialism and loneliness. After the tragedy that Affleck’s character goes through, he’s locked into this dreamlike state where he can see what others are doing, how they’re grieving, and so on. It’s in the film where you see people coming and going, with Affleck experiencing everything. There’s a monologue towards the end of the film where this guy talks about how everything people have done to cement legacies and make their lives matter will all be lost during the inevitable end of the world in however billion years. It’s this monologue where Affleck realizes that no matter what, he was going to die and be forgotten in the course of time. Same thing goes with Rooney Mara’s character, she’s going to die, and Affleck may experience the loneliness that Mara experiences throughout this film.
I dunno, I feel like I’m looking too into it.
Bottom line, this movie is fucking great. The story is just so thought provoking and melancholic that it leaves a lot open to interpretation. I was sad throughout the film, knowing that these are all real human emotions and that shit like this happens. Obviously people don’t turn into ghosts and observe the lives of the people they left, but what do I know. Is there a life beyond here?Will we be able to see what our loved ones do once we’re gone? I’ve got no fucking clue.
Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara also give incredible performances throughout the entire film. Who knew that Casey Affleck could make me feel so much emotion and give a powerful performance while he was covered in a fucking bedsheet. Rooney Mara also shines in the beginning to middle of the film, with her performance feeling authentic as hell.
Like I said before, the overall aesthetic of the film is just so pretty to look at. It looks like something out of the 1980’s and compliments the story and themes nicely. The cinematography is also incredible, with each shot feeling very dreamlike. It’s almost as if you’re stepping into another dimension, it just feels so unnatural, but feels right in the context of the film.
If I had a problem with the film, it’s the pacing in the beginning. There are just some scenes that last too damn long.
Overall, A Ghost Story is a film that I’m gonna be thinking about for a while. There’s just so much to think about and so much to interpret. It’s a very well made film, and one that everyone should see in my opinion. Even if you’re not a fan of “arthouse” cinema, I think that this could possibly open some doors into less mainstream shit, idk.
Just see this film