With all the blockbusters hitting the big screen from April all the way up until the end of July, it’s easy to miss the smaller films. You’ll want to make sure you go out of your way to find A Ghost Story though, as it truly is one of the best shot, emotional films of the year so far.
A Ghost Story tells the story of a couple played by Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck. Their time together is tragically cut short when a car accident kills Affleck’s character which leaves Mara alone. Or as far as she believes anyway. Affleck is reanimated as a ghost, hidden beneath a white morgue sheet, and returns to the home they shared together. He watches over her as she suffers through the loss of her loved one and tries to rebuild her life. It’s a haunting exploration of love and loss that will stay with you long after the film ends.
It’s hard to believe that Casey Affleck would agree to be in a film where he spends 90% of it hidden away beneath a white sheet, but after watching it you find yourself amazed at the level of performance he can give even without seeing his face. In fact most of the film relies on body movement and camerawork to tell the story, as there isn’t a lot of dialogue. The film was made on a small budget, over the course of a few short weeks. Director David Lowery filmed it as a pet project after Pete’s Dragon was completed, and only had the concept of a ghost hidden under a sheet as an idea when he started working on it. Rooney Mara has displayed her abilities to show raw emotion on the screen before, but her performance in A Ghost Story may be one of her best yet. Even in a simple scene where she is grieving and eating a pie, you can feel the pain her character is going through, and watching her go through it makes you want to turn away. The cinematography for the film really helps frame the entire thing as well, with a mix of beauty and sadness on display at all times.
A Ghost Story is one of those movies that will keep you talking long after you see it, especially about the ending, and even though it’s not one of the big films of the summer, it really shouldn’t be missed. It’s heads and tails above many of the blockbusters that have come out this summer. It opens this weekend in Toronto and Vancouver, on July 28 in Halifax, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Victoria, and in Montreal on August 4.