A GHOST STORY
FOUR STARS A young woman deals with the sudden loss of her boyfriend, while his ghost deals with the sudden loss of his life.
Starring Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck
David Lowery, the enigmatic director of AINT THEM BODIES SAINTS returns with the equally enigmatic Casey Affleck in this, well, enigmatic story of love, loss and ghostly longing. When Affleck is a killed in a routine accident, his distraught wife (Rooney Mara) is left to pick up the pieces. What she doesn’t realise is that he’s returned as a white sheeted ghost and is desperate to connect. Forget any paranormal activity or fearful horror tropes, this ghost story remains firmly in the fanciful sphere of the arthouse.
As time takes a circular path back to the present, A GHOST STORY tackles big themes of loss and loneliness as the living seek hope and the dead seek release. Although his film is a slow burn of sadness, Lowery does invest the story with a sense of whimsy and occasional humour: a floral-sheeted ghost in the neighbour’s house gets the best lines.
This existential riff on the haunted house movie is lyrical and bleak as Lowery conveys the weight of inevitability. The structure and rhythms oscillate between majesty and minimalism as the ghost’s tragedy – his inability to communicate or comfort – becomes more eerie, and more beautiful. Against all odds, this outlandish creation is strange, sad and graceful in its reminder that death is coming for us all. It may not be scary, but A GHOST STORY is certainly haunting.