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A Ghost Story

Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara (I don’t think they really have names in the movie) are a young couple who appear to be relatively newly married and live in a house that may be (a bit) haunted – there are strange noises but they don’t seem to affect them much. One day, Casey is killed in a car accident right outside his house. After Rooney identifies him, we see him arise from the table and he becomes his ghost form. The ghost looks a bit odd – a sheet with two dark holes where the eyes should be. He goes back to their house, and he suddenly finds that time is changing around him. I absolutely love this film. There is not much dialog; it is one of those movies you just sit back and feel the various emotions as the ghost suddenly appears at that same spot over the course of many families and states of development of the property. There is a beautiful scene early that sets the stage for the rest of the movie where he meets another ghost in the adjoining property and that ghost, when asked who he is waiting for, states, “I don’t remember”. The movie is highly original; the score is wonderful, it is framed in the shape of one of those old photos that has rounded corners, and it needs no dialogue to convey its story. Huge thumbs up from me for a film that is a deeply reflective and meditative poem on life, love, and loss and the nature of time and one’s legacy and memory. The film lingers after leaving the theater; will probably be one of the year’s most creative films and certainly a most unusual ghost story. I remembered fondly the conversations I used to have with Carol so many years ago about spirits who come back to a place after death and are tethered to that place while they work out their issues before being released to the next life. This is a movie that tells that process beautifully.

About Gary Burkholder

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