Ghost WorldOctober 18, 2001
Enid and Rebecca are social outsiders who, after graduating from high school, play a mean prank on a middle-aged geek.
Release Year: 2001
Rating: 7.6/10 (54,915 voted)
Critic's Score: 88/100
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson
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.
Writers: Daniel Clowes, Daniel Clowes
Charles C. Stevenson Jr.
Accentuate the negative.
Release Date: 18 October 2001
Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $98,791
(22 July 2001)
Did You Know?
When inside "Zine-O-Phobia", visible is "Pussey" a comic by Daniel Clowes, who wrote the graphic novel "Ghost World" and co-wrote the screenplay. There is also visible "Eightball" and "David Boring", also by Daniel Clowes. The unicorn painting shown in Enid's summer art class was also done by Daniel Clowes.
The position of the note clipped to Enid's diploma changes between shots.
[looking at a drawing of a man smashing another man's head in with a sledgehammer]
What can you tell us about your piece, er… Phillip?
Er… it's about The Mutilator.
It's a really great video game about a guy who kills people with a big hammer.
Oh. I thought maybe this was supposed to be your father.
[she gives a little laugh. Phillip looks confused]
Mature, intelligent and haunting (but in a good way)
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
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!