Let’s watch some paint dry.
(It’s award consideration season and I’m playing catch-up. As I tear through them, I thought I’d try mini-reviews. Enjoy!)
Have you ever wondered what happens when you die? Of course you have; you are a human person. A Ghost Story offers writer/director David Lowery’s guess at the afterlife and it is the most boring, unimaginative guess possible. Lowery surmises that you get to wear a sheet with eyeholes cut out and stand around.
That’s it. You just stand in places and time no longer matters. No living thing can you see you or interact with you, but you can spend eternity watching your house (or any place, really) get lived in by different people, fall apart and get razed, be replaced by a sky scraper, or go back in time to see settlers get killed by Native Americans. None of this is relevant to Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara’s relationship; it is just a timeline of a place that a walking piece of bed linen observes. A Ghost Story is literally 87 minutes of Casey Affleck wearing a sheet, standing places, and contains fewer lines of dialogue than minutes in the movie (this is not an exaggeration).
There are film snobs that will argue about deeper meaning or art, but there is nothing beyond self-indulgence in five-minute scenes featuring Affleck watching Mara eat a pie in complete silence. And, if there was any meaning in this film, it was written on a tiny piece of paper by Mara that ghost-Affleck finally extracts from a crack in a door frame (where Rooney stuck it), reads, and evaporates. But, in a final fuck you to the audience for enduring 86 minutes of nothing, we are not shown what was written on that paper because Lowery made the most boring, unimaginative film possible.
Rating: Ask for whatever you believe 87-minutes of your life is worth, then double it.