In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.
When I look at David Lowery’s directing record, it isn’t saying much that he did the remake/reboot of Pete’s Dragon. The original was in fact my favorite movie and in fact the first film that ignited my desire to be a critic. Star Wars (2017) would be the next one. I am no fan of the Pete’s Dragon reboot but as I understand a lot of other people are so I’ll give Lowery a break there. He also did Aint Them Bodies Saints which I haven’t yet seen but have read much critical acclaim for. This film, A Ghost Story (1977) is a slow film that likely took pounds and pounds of muscle to make. Ironic I would say. It takes a big risk painting a simple picture. How many directors can say they had a strong visual idea and saw it through to completion without any nonsense added? For that I tip my hat to him. In that respect it s a rarity. The production company A24 made the film which is in keeping with their “big but simple” ideas for film. One example that comes to mind is It Comes at Night (2017).
The two actors are excellent, no need to say anything critical about either of them. Besides, there isn’t much dialog here. There is a scene where Rooney Mara eats a pie for 5 minutes (or more) and the Casey Affleck ghost watches. So there you are for the description of the actors.
I think this film brings up questions of eternity and hauntings but it is never for one instant scary in any way. I think Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze did this concept better but you be the judge. This film for me is the thought of a spooky, thoughtful image being displayed the full length of a movie for “open-ended” effect. It is pretty cool for about an hour. After that, it really got boring for me. Kudos to Lowery for trying, there just isn’t enough here to justify the cost of a drama, or romance ticket. And Mr. Lowery, you would probably admit, you never claimed it to be a horror. It is nevertheless a beautiful almost still picture. and some will enjoy that.