With A Ghost Story, acclaimed director David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon) returns with a singular exploration of legacy, loss, and the essential human longing for meaning and connection. Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost (Academy Award-winner Casey Affleck) returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife (Academy Award-nominee Rooney Mara), only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as the life he knew and the woman he loves slowly slip away. Increasingly unmoored, the ghost embarks on a cosmic journey through memory and history, confronting life’s ineffable questions and the enormity of existence. An unforgettable meditation on love and grief, A Ghost Story emerges ecstatic and surreal—a whole -unique experience that lingers long after the credits roll.


Review

David Lowery's bold and unique haunting drama A Ghost Story was the closing film at Sundance London back in June and goes on general release in the UK on the 11th August. Reuniting with Ain't Them Bodies Saints' stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara for something radically different from both that and, especially, his previous film Pete's Dragon.

The film was inspired by an argument with his wife about whether or not to move home coupled with the desire to make a horror movie where the ghost was just an actor in a white sheet with eyes holes cut out just because he found that image amusing. Largely ditching the horror idea, the resulting film tells the story of a young couple called C & M, living in a suburban Dallas home beset by odd noises and crashes. When C dies in a sudden car accident, M is left alone to grieve unaware that C has returned to haunt the house.

This is the basic set-up for a meditative and melancholy film about love, loss and time. To say more would ruin the intriguing direction that the film finally goes in, but it's certainly unlike anything you've seen before. Affleck and Mara both give extraordinary performances, though Affleck does spend a lot of the film covered by the aforementioned sheet. Whilst indie songwriter and musician Will Oldham has a memorable mid-film monologue at a house party.

It certainly won't be to everyone's tastes, the ghost in a sheet idea may prove to be a little too comic and daft for some, and there are several self-indulgent moments throughout (one scene has Mara eating half a pie in real time as an expression of her grief). But for those willing to go in with an open mind, the film leaves you with plenty to think about. Plus it's beautifully shot in the Academy ratio by Andrew Droz Palermo with a great score by previous Lowery collaborator Daniel Hart. Confirmation that Lowery is one of the most interesting US filmmakers currently working.


By Kevin Knapman



A Ghost Story (12A)

1h 32m

Director: David Lowery
Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara

UK Release: Friday 11th August 2017






A Ghost Story: "Ghost Chat" Clip

A Ghost Story: "Universe" Clip