7.4/10
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490 user 128 critic

Ghost World (2001)

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director:

Terry Zwigoff

Writers:

Daniel Clowes (comic book), Daniel Clowes | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,311 ( 321)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 28 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »

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Starting from childhood attempts at illustration, the protagonist pursues his true obsession to art school. But as he learns how the art world really works, he finds that he must adapt his vision to the reality that confronts him.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Max Minghella, Sophia Myles, John Malkovich
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Thora Birch ... Enid
Scarlett Johansson ... Rebecca
Steve Buscemi ... Seymour
Brad Renfro ... Josh
Illeana Douglas ... Roberta Allsworth
Bob Balaban ... Enid's Dad
Stacey Travis ... Dana
Charles C. Stevenson Jr. ... Norman
Dave Sheridan ... Doug
Tom McGowan ... Joe
Debra Azar ... Melora
Brian George ... Sidewinder Boss
Pat Healy ... John Ellis
Rini Bell ... Graduation Speaker
T.J. Thyne ... Todd
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Storyline

This is the story of Enid and Rebecca after they finish the high school. Both have problems relating to people and they spend their time hanging around and bothering creeps. When they meet Seymour who is a social outsider who loves to collect old 78 records, Enid's life will change forever. Written by eric from Mexico City

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're high school graduates, and the world's got hell to pay! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 September 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prízracný svet See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$98,791, 22 July 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,217,849

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,543,544
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The art school brochure shows a picture of the University of Washington Campus. The gothic library and the Red Square towers are clearly visible in the picture. See more »

Goofs

When Enid visits to submit her college application, Roberta says "They are forcing me to give you a non-passing grade in the class." In the latter part when the camera faces Enid, the sound is "in the class" but Roberta's lips could be seen saying "forcing me". See more »

Quotes

Enid: Sometimes I think I'm going crazy from sexual frustration.
Rebecca: And you haven't heard of the miracle of masturbation?
See more »

Crazy Credits

After all the credits roll, there's another take of the scene where Seymour (Steve Buscemi) gets attacked by Doug in the minimart. Only this time, Buscemi's characer easily wins the fight, choking Doug with his own weapon, and stomps out triumphantly. He finishes with a bunch of Mr. Pink type dialogue. See more »

Connections

References The Graduate (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

Georgia On My Mind
Written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell
Performed by Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mature, intelligent and haunting (but in a good way)
11 June 2002 | by JHollisSee all my reviews

Movies that criticise the world can fall into many traps, leaving the viewer to feel jaded by the film's experience. Ghost World's witty appraisal of 'America' successfully avoids being childishly caustic or self-important and thus emerges as one of the best films of 2001. We sympathise with Enid (the luscious Thora Birch) without being expected to completely believe that her cynical world-view is necessarily the right one. Enid's (and her best-friend Rebecca's)negativity is turned on all around them, and their obsessive need to be cool but on their own terms sees them take post-modernism to its absurd conclusion.

Enid's bizarre costume choices mean that she stands out from the rest of her baggy-panted generation, and in one scene is infuriated that no-one, even Rebecca, understands her 'original 1977 punk look' she's testing out.

The fact that we should not fully empathise with Enid is shown by the contrasting character arc of Rebecca. There is a definite sense that she grows up over the course of the movie, but not in a "what have we learned about life" Disney way. Perhaps she has sold out to the conservative ideals that seemed so repulsive to them at the beginning of the movie, but just as Enid ultimately fulfils her desires, so does Becky live out her 'seventh grade fantasy'. The important thing is not the choices people make, but whether they make choices with which they are happy.

The movie's main targets are people who betray themselves in an effort to fit in, and their resulting stupidity by doing so. But the people who have remained true to their values (like Steve Buscemi's Seymour, in a performance that should have been at least nominated for an Academy Award), are portrayed as leading equally vacuous lives. Seymour's infrequent attempts to achieve 'normality' are galling for us to observe, and near soul-destroying for him to experience.

This is an excellent movie. Thora Birch gives her most confident performance to date, and Scarlett Johansson is superbly laconic as Enid's icy side-kick. The supporting cast all shine. Strongly recommended!


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