Booksellers Who Suggest Movies: Ghost Story

Sad as I was to see Barry Rothman move off to Denver, he did leave me with great classic film knowledge, goading me to watch “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”, “Stranger on a Train” and “Top Hat”, just to name a few.
And now as one door closes, another opens with our new bookseller James Mammone. I knew I’d enjoy working with him, when at the staff lunch, I brought up the film “Another Earth”. Somewhat deservedly, the film’s a bit obscure, and everyone at the table turned and looked at me like I was from another Earth, when out of the silence came James’ voice who said, “Great movie, Britt Marling”.
So when James said, you should watch “Ghost Story” after a “Joker” discussion which ended with Rooney Mara, Joaquin’s fiance (today’s the wedding!), I agreed.
My prior knowledge of “Ghost Story” was simply that a few folks and reviewers had said it was odd, hence I avoided it at the theater. But much like many great films, you can’t listen to the critics. David Lowery who wrote and directed this, also wrote The Old Man & the Gun. And while I heavily panned that as boring, there certainly were similarly quiet, important moments.
“Ghost Story” is truly a special film, as quiet as the stillest Terrence Malick, “Ghost Story” weaves its tale through several lifetimes with an evocative score.
Usually I break my own no spoilers for a film that’s two or more years’ old, but in “Ghost Story”‘s case, I want to preserve the surprise. It’s not a spooky horror film, but a hauntingly deep journey. I dare say this movie might be great consolation for anyone suffering from the loss of a loved one.
Acting wise, Rooney Mara is a force to be reckoned with, her expressive eyes and mighty mouse physicality a wonderful combination. I love Casey Affleck no matter what he allegedly did and one other actor of note here is Will Oldham as ‘Prognosticator”.
I’ve now found another reliable film friend in James. Definitely see “Ghost Story”.

I’m Sorry Todd

I’m sorry Todd, your film Carol is not making my top 10 list. I don’t know. I guess I should’ve known, I thought Far From Heaven was painstakingly slow, didn’t even it make it all the way through I’m Not There. There is some good news: I did like sections of “Carol”.

But first, the male characters were cardboard and the acting not much better. Sorry also to Kyle Chandler, nothing personal as I loved you as the cocky FBI guy in Wolf on Wall Street.

Second, this film needed a haircut (aka edit) as much as Donald Trump needs a trim. Cut the first ten minutes off and start immediately in the department store. We also don’t need to go to every podunk motel and diner on their road trip to Chicago.

Third, one of the last scenes at a party where Terez (Rooney Mara) is literally faced with multiple heterosexual couples? Ok, yes, an important scene, but the laborious pace of it all invoked my hand flipping gesture of, ‘let’s keep this rolling’. And did Carrie Browstein win a Charity Buzz auction as a walk on in that scene? Strange days indeed.

Fourth, Cate Blanchett’s too cool for the room and that’s not a compliment. It’s hard to truly feel for someone who’s playing such a detached ice princess.

In an attempt to keep the Christmas cheer going, I’ll end by highlighting the positives. Cate Blanchett’s costuming was absolutely gorgeous. Certain shots were absolutely gorgeous, specifically any with Rooney Mara in a car or crying (both of which happen with great frequency). Rooney Mara’s acting was the best part of the film, her character was believable and heart felt.Rooney Mara