It’s all about time.
Rooney as: M
Written by: David Lowery
Directed by: David Lowery
Other Cast: Casey Affleck
Release Date: July 7, 2017 (Limited)
Production Budget: $100k
Total Worldwide Gross: $1.95m
Filming Locations: Irving, Texas
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 wholly unique experience that lingers long after the credits roll.
Quoting: Cast and Crew
Director David Lowery: She has one of those transcendent faces that changes when you put a lens in front of it. It’s the reason why close-ups are such a powerful tool in movies, and it’s what defines our greatest stars. When you find the right face, you want to make sure you’re using it right. It can convey all of the emotion you thought you’d need dialogue for.
Co-star Casey Affleck: She can show a huge range of emotions with her face in moments where she’s just alone. She doesn’t need a whole ton of dialogue to communicate a lot of things.
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox: A wrenching series of scenes follow, depicting the full range of grief that M experiences, with Mara’s big eyes and placid exterior cracking in ways that feel so real they’re almost unbearable. At one point she pulls the bedsheets off the bed she used to share with C to wash them, then stops, sits on the foot of the bed, and just holds the sheets; it’s the first time she’s washed them since he died. And in the five-minute scene that’s sure to be the movie’s most cited sequence, she slumps onto the kitchen floor and eats a whole pie with increasing urgency. We just watch.
Jordan Raup, The Film Stage: If Lowery’s last Mara and Affleck collaboration was a poetic ode to eternal romance, their latest lies more in the stillness of grief. The initial inherent goofiness of the image of a caped Affleck with eye holes cut out as he stands around corners of their house quickly washes away when Lowery centers the focus on M’s devastation, rendered by Rooney Mara in one of her most affecting performances.
Tim Grierson, Screen International: If Affleck gives a mostly silent performance after his character’s death — we don’t see his face for much of A Ghost Story — so too does Mara. Yet the actress is exceptional in several silent sequences in which humdrum activities, like eating a pie, suggest the powerful emotional undercurrents threatening to consume her.
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter: While Affleck and Mara both are onscreen (at least visibly, in Affleck’s case) for limited stretches, their performances resonate.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Mara has always been expert at expressing emotions without dialogue, and Affleck is a master at it – Manchester By the Sea proved that indelibly. Having worked with Lowery on Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, both actors are simpatico with the lyrical cadences of his technique; their minimalist performances are, in a word, mesmerizing.