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Ghost World

Where to Watch Ghost World

R
2001

“Ghost World” is a quirky, ground-breaking 2001 film that still resonates with audiences today. Starring Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson and Steve Buscemi, it's a dark comedy-drama based on the cult comic book of the same name by Daniel Clowes. Transcending the typical coming-of-age narrative, "Ghost World" adopts an eccentric, sarcastic tone that explores the bitter-sweetness of late adolescence amidst the metaphorical landscape of an increasingly synthetic society, hence the moniker "Ghost World."

Thora Birch plays the main character, Enid, a cynical and defiantly individualistic teenager, whose high school graduation marks the onset of an existential dilemma. Her best friend, Rebecca, brought to life on the screen by a young Scarlett Johansson, stands by her side as they embark on the confusing journey into adulthood. Unlike many teen movies, "Ghost World" doesn't involve cliché high school drama; instead, there is an emphasis on the characters' personal struggles and their perception of the world.

The titular 'Ghost World' refers to the girls' nebulous life after high school, a world filled with uncertain futures, disingenuous grown-ups and the drab commercialism of their suburban town. It’s a journey through an eerie town that seems ghostly due to its lack of authenticity and genuine human connection, encountered through a series of whimsical and grim vignettes.

Steve Buscemi delivers a profound performance as Seymour, a lonely, middle-aged record collector. He becomes an unlikely friend and figure of fascination for Enid after she and Rebecca respond to a desperate personal ad he had written. Seymour's unique world of vintage blues records and 78 rpm gramophones becomes a captivating escape for Enid who is desperately searching for authenticity amidst the overwhelming dreariness of their consumerist society.

Throughout the film, this trio navigates a series of funny, strange, and at times awkward encounters. “Ghost World” is thread together with an undercurrent of existential malaise and socio-critical commentary, excavating deep into the characters’ troubled emotions and providing a poignant depiction of isolation, loneliness, and the struggle to find one's identity.

Furthermore, the film’s distinctive aesthetic is a memorable draw. Director Terry Zwigoff blends almost surreal cartoon color palettes with snapshots of the drab suburban milieu. The unique visual populous of the movie is filled with captivating images: from green-haired Enid in her zany vintage outfits to the dilapidated 1950s dinner they frequent, the world of this movie feels eccentrically timeless, out of place in a familiar yet peculiar way, capturing the essence of being a teenager feeling 'out of sync' with the world.

Music is another element that “Ghost World” employs effectively. The film is beautifully punctuated with an eclectic mix of old blues, jazz, and foreign pop tunes. It makes use of music to enhance the narrative and reflect the characters' emotions, particularly Seymour's obsession with old blues records seeping into Enid's world as she attempts to cope with her increasing disillusionment. The soundtrack is a unique treat and as much a character in the film as the people themselves.

The film is an emotionally complex mix of satire, humor, and introspection. It paints a portrait of the dispirited American landscape while providing an uncompromising look into youth's uncertainty, expertly exploring the growing pain of adolescence, the fear of conformity, and the yearning for authenticity.

In the end, "Ghost World" isn’t a story of dramatic transformation but a story of subtle realizations & quiet epiphanies. The characters pull the audience into their odd yet familiar world; a ghost world where everyone must decide to either conform or forge their own path. With its unique blend of humor, cynicism, and heart, "Ghost World" is a movie that's entertaining and thought-provoking, serving up a slice of life that's as sweet as it is sour.

With its superb performances, sharp screenplay, and a distinctive blend of realism and fanciful eccentricity, "Ghost World" is a charmer that resonates with anyone who's ever felt out of place in the world. It's a film that manages to capture the aimlessness of post-high school life with a darkly comedic tinge, making it an enduring classic in the indie film genre.

Ghost World is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 2001. It has a runtime of 111 minutes. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 90.

How to Watch Ghost World

Where can I stream Ghost World movie online? Ghost World is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, MGM+, FuboTV, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, EPIX NOW. Some platforms allow you to rent Ghost World for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.3/10
90/100
Director
Terry Zwigoff
Stars
Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Renfro, Bob Balaban, Illeana Douglas, Steve Buscemi
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