David Lowery wrote and directed this deeply affecting, emotionally-charged drama that isn’t afraid to ponder life’s biggest questions. It’s an ambitious project that looks deceptively simple from the outside. But there’s so much going on underneath the surface, and it deserves huge praise for trying to conceptualize our mortality weighed against the bigger picture of an afterlife.
Casey Affleck (C) and Rooney Mara (M) play a young couple who seem to have everything going for them until Affleck unexpectedly dies in a road accident. Coming back in the form of a traditional ghost (a white-sheeted figure), C returns to their home to try and make contact with M once again. What follows is a stunning look at the passage of time and how life and death affects us all.
Destined to be unfairly remembered as ‘the film where Casey Affleck wears a sheet throughout’, A Ghost Story takes its audience on a stunning journey of existential identity. It’s one that stays with you for long after the end credits roll and leaves you pieces, nursing a myriad of emotions. Shot in a screen aspect ratio that perfectly marries up to Lowery’s themes of being trapped in a metaphorical box, this story immediately grabs your attention from the first frame, delivering beautiful visuals that bathe the eyes in powerful simplicity.
We are drip fed small pieces of information about C and M’s relationship as we take an involving look at how death affects them both. As the film progresses, you realise that there is much more to this story, as C looks for closure that might never come. Affleck hands in a delicately balanced performance that shines throughout. He manages to convey exactly what Lowery intended despite wearing the sheet, which is a glowing testament to both his performance and Lowery’s direction. Rooney Mara also delivers a powerful turn and the two (who both appeared in Lowery’s Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) have a short-hand chemistry that clearly shines onscreen.
Bring the tissues, because this one will have you in floods of tears. It’s heartbreaking and deeply moving, and makes you question life, death and everything in-between. It punctuates the heavy subject matter with astute moments of subtle comedy but the melancholy is never far from the forefront. A Ghost Story is a remarkable film that takes a familiar visual concept (of a sheeted ghost) and attaches genuine emotional worth to it.
Cast: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara Director: David Lowery Writer: David Lowery Released By: Picturehouse Entertainment Certificate: 12A Duration: 92 mins Release Date: 11th August 2017