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Plot: This is the story of Enid and Rebecca after they finish the high school. Both have problems to be related with people and they spend their time hanging around and bothering creeps. When they met Seymour who is a social outsider who loves to collect old vinyl records, the life of Enid will change forever. Runtime: 111 mins Release Date: 17 Oct 2001
For those of us who tire of standard teen movies, here's the film to make our day. **** out of four (by Movie-12)
GHOST WORLD / 2001 **** out of four For those of us who tire of standard teen movies, here's the film to brighten our day. It's a monkey wrench in the cranks of the tedious genre that features actors in their mid-twenties portraying stereotypical high-school characters shamelessly indulging predictable plots of frivolous romance. Where most movies set in high schools find resolve in romantics, "Ghost World" dares to be different.Yet it contains all the usual ingredients-aimless main characters, one-dimensional side characters, high school graduation, moronic parents, <more>
sexual revelations, a romance-but it tastes different. This movie doesn't believe high school is the root of youth complications; it knows that school isn't where the confusion lies-it's after graduation when the complexities begin.The movie opens as a high school senior dances along with a music video. Sounds like a typical teenager? Well, not really. The music this girl listens to isn't exactly mainstream. Nothing about Enid Thora Birch from "American Beauty" is ordinary.The same goes for her best friend, Rebecca Scarlett Johansson . She is slightly more focused than the aimless Enid, but, as they graduate from high school in the opening scenes, neither of them know what they want out of life.Rebecca and Enid find interesting people to follow, exploit, and embarrass, just for their own leisure, but even this loses its edge. Making the most or least of their situation, the girls stumble upon an outstandingly pathetic personal ad. As a joke, they respond. However, when they meet this man, Enid becomes infatuated with him.In their post high school days, Enid and Rebecca find themselves slowly drifting apart. Rebecca is eager to get an apartment and get on with her life, while Enid lives by the day, following one infatuation after another. As their attitudes gradually change from cynical to sober, Enid and Rebecca's emerging differences become blatantly obvious, but painfully realized."Ghost World" refers to the world in which these characters live, a town slowly being overcome by shopping malls and coffee shops; a town that slowly loses its distinctions and becomes a ghost of what it once was. My small town of Mason, MI speaks for itself. Once a minuscule farming suburb of the state's capital, it's now a breeding ground for new subdivisions, factories, stores, gas stations, trailer parks, and businesses. Before you know it, it will be a densely populated city like the capital itself."Ghost World" makes harsh points, but it never loses its sense of humor. Enid is so full of bitter cynicism that we have to laugh. She indulges the dialogue. It's often tactlessly frank, savoring every opportunity to bash, thrash, ridicule, or insult anyone or anything for any reason. Society tends to repress our caustic desire to insult a fellow man, but "Ghost World" doesn't hesitate. It takes a lot of risks, but never steps in the wrong direction. It connects us with these characters. They are so casually antisocial that we can't help but to love them. At times, the movie doesn't require dialogue. It simply examines the character's surroundings. We get to know these people so well, we know exactly what they're thinking before they say it. They are a part of our instincts to react on impulse.But a character is only as good as the actor behind it. "Ghost World" features enormously engaging performances. Brad Renfro gives his nobody store clerk a raw blandness. Illeana Douglas injects a kind of controlled eccentricity into her role as an art teacher. Steve Buscemi creates a hopeless record player collector out of repressed emotion, and lack thereof. Scarlett Johansson gives Rebecca a dry, depressed mood. Thora Birch steals the whole show with a straightforward, fearless performance. Although the movie never defines the relationship between Enid and Rebecca, the actors themselves make it clear. They create an enticing charisma that gradually turns to an awkward tension."Ghost World" captures part of our journey from childhood to adulthood with poetic grace and cynical wit. Though it's not really a coming-of-age film, where a young character finally takes a place in the world. Enid never finds her place, decides her future, or chooses a path. By the end of the story, she simply becomes aware of her possible options. This movie is just the beginning of her story.
I love this movie. It is so simple. Just an episode from the lives of two girls who have just finished high school. Nothing fancy, nothing spectacular, or unusual. Just a situation that we've all been through, but shown through a different set of eyes.The performances by Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson hottie , and Steve Buscemi are very good and the story is heart warming and often very funny.Movies like this are seldom and Hollywood tends to make it's films unnecessarily spectacular these days. It sometimes works, but is often quite ridiculous. Think - Michael Bay.This is film is <more>
highly recommended to anyone who cares about life. 10/10Rated R: profanity
It's not Daria, and if you don't get it, don't bitch (by eeuuhombre)
The first time I saw this movie I f***ing went insane! Best movie I had ever seen! I saw it on the first day of school that year, so it started me off pumped. It meant so much to me, and accentuated and made sense of many parts of my life. I cannot explain how close I am to this movie. My best fiend saw it with me too, and we have been a lot closer since then.It was very smartly written, realistic as hell- not necessarily the actions, but the feelings behind the actions taken in this movie.It is basically about this girl named Enid Thora Birch who has just graduated high school, and <more>
doesn't know where her life is going. She quickly discriminates against others, though I think that most of the time, she is justified. Enid and her friend Rebecca are spending the whole movie thinking about getting an apartment, but Enid procrastinates. She basically stops caring about anything that will help her in life, and entertains herself by hating everything that she can. This makes her depressed, and she loves it. Enid becomes involved with an older jazz/ragtime enthusiast named Seymour Steve Buscemi who has issues relating to others. Enid likes/ is intrigued by him, and feels that he can relate to her better than anyone else that she knows in her world. Seymour is her drug. As a drama, Ghost World was great. The first half of the movie, though, was one of the funniest, darkest setups I have ever seen. A lot of sarcastic humor that many would call ______ist, but whatever. It's got some of the best one liners I've ever heard. I will not go on and on about the ending, because other reviewers have overly voiced their 10 line opinions about how it's so good that it's gone past bad and back to good again or really "sucky and artsy". About the ending, I will say this- It is not a normal Hollywood ending. That's good. Hollywood is redundant. "A tampon in a teacup?""It's my response to a women's right to choose. It's something I feel super strongly about!"
Mature, intelligent and haunting but in a good way (by JHollis)
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 <more>
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!
I guess different people can extract different meanings from GHOST WORLD and all nail exactly why it was made. For me, it was the chronicle of that small group of people who don't, and probably never will, quite fit into this world. They're here on the fringes though, just existing in their own parallel universe, or their own "ghost world." Though it sounds depressing, this film is hardly a downer, it's full of humor, satire and acute observations on life. The overall production is excellent the brightness and colors in the photography, costumes and sets is stunning ... <more>
plus it pulls off the impossible by successfully steering toward dead-on seriousness near the conclusion to drive it's point across.It begins at graduation with Enid Thora Birch and Rebecca Scarlett Johansson , two very perceptive high school outcasts who see right through the facade of their juvenile peers and want nothing to do with it. For Rebecca this self-ostracizing is just a passing phasing, but for Enid you get the strong impression this is going to always be her way of life. It's not that she doesn't get it, it's that she's doesn't understand IT or people or the games of life. There's a brief emotional turning point for Enid when a cruel practical joke backfires and she becomes involved with the target, the nerdy and very sardonic Seymour Steve Buscemi , who may just be the kindred spirit Enid was looking for. The shared scenes between Enid and Seymour, though doomed to take a bad turn, are handled with tenderness by the director and actors and are quite memorable and touching.Highlights are an excellent scene in a blues club that just about nails the American outlook on life and our lack of reverence and the ones in Enid's remedial art class, with the most misguided and pretentious teacher Illeana Douglas you could imagine. The girls are wonderful, and Steve Buscemi was unfairly overlooked at awards time big shocker . Anyway, he's never been this good before. The fact this premise, these ideas and these original and interesting characters came from a comic book makes me realize I've completely overlooked the artistic possibilities within that medium.
Enid Thora Birch and Rebecca Scarlett Johansson are best friends having difficulties in social attitude with other people. After graduating in high-school, they decide to get a job and rent a house of their own. However, Enid need to attend the Arts summer school to graduate and the unsociable behavior of Enid makes her lose her job. Meanwhile, they play a prank with Seymour Steve Buscemi , a middle-age collector of long-plays record that feels also difficulties of relationship, and Seymour and Enid become friends. Along the days, Enid reaches maturity and a different view of <more>
life."Ghost World" is an excellent low-budget cult-movie nominated for Oscar in the category of Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published and awarded in another twenty-five 25 prizes plus twenty-four 24 nominations in different festivals. The caustic and mature adolescent-coming-to-age story is centered in the weird and rebel Enid facing and overcoming the need to join the real world after the high-school period, and is brilliantly directed by Terry Zwigoff, who also writes the wonderful screenplay with Daniel Clowes. The performance of Thora Birch, probably in her best role, also deserved a nomination to the Oscar. Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi and the supporting cast are also awesome. I really loved "Ghost World" a lot, and I would like to thank my great movie-lover friend Ricardo that recommended this gem. My vote is nine.Title Brazil : "Ghost World Aprendendo a Viver" / a.k.a. "Mundo Cão" "Ghost World Leaning to Live" / "Dog's World"
Best friends Enid and Rebecca graduate from high school and find themselves forced to enter the real world. Enid more than Rebecca is a counter-culture rebel who hates this world of frauds and losers, and she subsequently has trouble getting and keeping a job. One day the girls decide to play a prank on a lonely middle-aged loser named Seymour. Their plan backfires, though, and Enid becomes a little obsessed with the man. First she feels sorry for Seymour, then he becomes something of a hero to her, and she resolves to help him at least find a girlfriend. "Maybe I just can't stand <more>
the thought of a world where a guy like you can't get a date," she tells him. Meanwhile, Enid seems to be avoiding the challenge of getting her own life started.Terry Zwigoff "Crumb" directs this film based on a script by Dan Clowes, who also created the original comic book. "Ghost World" attempts to be a kitsch-free, counter-culture coming-of-age film, and for the most part it succeeds. The characters are very believable, honest, and engaging. The downbeat Seymour is played wonderfully by Steve Buscemi, and Thora Birch in her striking performance as Enid follows up her "American Beauty" role with another discontent but sympathetic misfit teen character. Perhaps the greatest disappointment in "Ghost World," however, is that Scarlett Johansson as Rebecca is marginalized midway through the film. Regarding the story: It is debatable whether the film is entirely free of kitsch. As with "American Beauty," the sudden romantic opportunities which fall into Seymour's lap smell suspiciously of middle-aged wish fulfillment. Also, one might ask for a slightly tighter ending, as the film finishes without much resolution--except for one rather simple but touching scene between Enid and Seymour. On the whole, however, the film is a delight, producing some very memorable characters to whom, in the end, the audience will be sorry to say goodbye.
Two female high school grads plan to get jobs and hang together, but bonds become frayed and paths separate after one of the girls ends up on an unintended journey of self-discovery. From the comic-book which takes a perverse delight in celebrating the geeky side of all of us, "Ghost World" is profane and cynical, but also surprisingly blithe and bright. I rather enjoyed it but realize it's not for every taste. Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson are incredibly rich and vivid in their roles low-keyed, deadpan, but not blanks ; their love-hate friendship is convincing and <more>
blessedly free of melodramatics--even they seem to cherish the personality conflicts that come up, it may give them more ammunition. As for the ending, I'm not sure whether it is ingenious or a cop-out, but it did leave me touched in a bemused, nostalgic way . A movie with much to offer. ***1/2 from ****
Thora Birch starred in 'American Beauty', a funny movie that was sadly over-hyped, pretentious, glossy and an attack on hypocrisy not without a few easy hypocrisies of its own the take home message seemed to be that to work in a regular job to buy a middle class home is shameful and materialistic, but to sell drugs to buy photographic equipment is cool . She also appears alongside a very young Scarlett Johanson, and a typecast Steve Buscemi in the much superior 'Ghost World', a film with a narrower but related focus the life of teenagers in suburban society , but in <more>
character less preachy and much more humane. Director Terry Zwigoff, and Birch herself, combine in an excellent portrayal of the latent power of teenage girls just beginning to play with their own sexuality, a common subject in Hollywood films but usually handled with little subtlety. By contrast, Birch is excellent as the girl who turns from cool to loser almost without knowing how.Another merit of 'Ghost World' is its understated stylisation, reminiscent in mood of the early films of Hal Hartley which also had a suburban setting , but visually much richer whereas Hartley depended more on dialogue to create a similar effect . In many ways, it's the film that at least one half of 'American Beauty' was trying to be, but wasn't. And even though there may be hundreds of other superficially similar movies, it stands out through eschewing the excess, sentiment and morality which sadly spoil most of its competitors; and also for its light artistic touch.