‘I don’t remember…’
If I was being reductive, A Ghost Story is essentially a film with very little dialogue, focused on Casey Affleck stood in one room with a sheet over his head like a ghost from Scooby Doo. It is a testament to writer/director David Lowery, Affleck himself, and the rest of the cast that A Ghost Story is not only so much more than that pithy description, it is a stunningly wondrous work of art…
C (Casey Affleck) and M (Rooney Mara) are happily married until C selfishly dies and becomes a ghost. As he journeys through time and space, we are finally treated to a haunted house story told from the point of view of the ghost. In this context, the obligatory destruction of crockery and the doors opening by themselves are tinged with an acute sadness rather than anything approaching fear.
Yes. It’s safe to say. A Ghost Story is another one of my film recommendations that comes draped in a veil of melancholy. If I don’t come away from a cinematic experience having felt a jolt of tragedy… I can’t really get behind it. Luckily, A Ghost Story is a lovely festival of measured sorrow, so if you’re into to that kind of thing, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here.
On a more serious note, this is a genuinely beautiful and utterly unique film, and one that deserved more than the already considerable critical praise that was heaped upon it. Like all of the best art, it won’t be for everyone, but those who do connect with this meditation on grief and loss will find a film to treasure until they themselves are walking round with a sheet on their head.
A Ghost Story is what happens with a director takes a risk and gives all of himself to a project. A bold and innovative film.