Resonating with vibrant memories and silent echoes of a shared life, the old house is somehow connected to "C", a sensitive composer who is hesitant of leaving it, while his loving wife "M", on the other hand, is keen on moving out, having an indecipherable but grim premonition of danger. Sadly, disaster soon strikes, and C's untethered spectre which detaches from the lifeless body, rises from the mortician's table, and in a swift decision, decides to linger in this dimension to faithfully follow the grieving M back to the old house. As silent as a shadow and as invisible as the air, C's unappeasable phantom observes M's denial and depression gradually turn to acceptance and even hope, as time unravels, moving forward through the decades. In this earth, man struggles to leave his legacy behind. Is this the way to immortality?Written by
Rooney Mara had never eaten pie before filming the scene in which she eats an entire pie. See more »
At one point the ghost turns and you can clearly see the actor through the sheet, wearing a yellow T-shirt. See more »
We build our legacy piece by piece and maybe the whole world will remember you or maybe just a couple of people, but you do what you can to make sure you're still around after you're gone.
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This minimalist fantasy-drama by David Lowery portrays the journey of a deceased man's ghost who returns to the home where he and his wife lived together up until his untimely and tragic death. To describe the ghost's psychology in this journey might be giving away too much. The plot is straightforward but it addresses themes of human existence and eternity in a way that many big-budget films don't even try.
The ghost's simplistic form might seem odd or laughable at first. This was not the case with me. I found the ghost's emergence and entry into the film to be seamless and thoroughly convincing. The narrative initially dissects local aspects of the plot, such as what type of relationship the man had with his wife and who he seemed to be as a person. Then it proceeds to become something much more ambitious- waxing philosophical on how we spend our time on Earth and what meaning, if any, we should hope to derive from it. The film's augmentation in scope can be risky for a small, unpretentious work, but in the end, it resonates quite well.
As for the performances, everyone here is great but Rooney Mara is exceptionally understated here, not the least for the scene where she eats an entire pie in a moment of intense pain. She is able to convey the grave reality of mourning without ever resorting to histrionics or conventional acting displays. She is low-key and completely effective here, as is Casey Affleck who portrays the detached husband. They worked with director Lowery in the lesser film "Ain't Them Bodies Saints", but here their collaboration reaches greater heights.
As simple as this ghost appears, there is never a dearth of sympathy or doubt about its presence. The film's uses of long takes and pregnant silence create an unexpected degree of tension. It deploys a soundtrack that is alternately mournful and quirky. And for all the melancholy mood that pervades, there are discreet moments of humor, making for a bittersweet cinematic work of art. Strongly recommended.
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