Where is Oda Mae Brown when you need her?!
A Ghost Story, the latest picture from filmmaker David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Pete's Dragon) is a film both sensitive and standoffish. While the sadness in Casey Affleck's performance, even as he's covered from head to toe in a white sheet, is palpable, the proceedings are meandering and ultimately left me cold and restless.
The film opens on C (Affleck), a recently deceased musician who, donning the white sheet, wanders out of the hospital to return home and console his mourning wife M (Rooney Mara). C observes as M goes through the grieving process and, after she moves out, finds himself watching over the house's future inhabitants, including a single mom and her children and a group of partygoers. All along, C is working, to negligible success, to retrieve a hand-written note M tucked inside the crack of a wall before her departure.
A Ghost Story looks and sounds phenomenal, with sumptuous cinematography by Andrew Droz Palermo and a stirring score from Daniel Hart. Their contributions and Affleck's curiously moving turn aside, however, the proceedings are overwhelmingly lethargic and lacking the profound, spiritual feeling no doubt intended. The picture also boasts one of the most ham-fisted monologues on humanity to ever grace the screen.
Not without its merits, A Ghost Story is a noble failure.