Netflix Film of the Week: Ghost World

The FILM IN WORDS Netflix Film of the Week: helping you navigate the filmic minefield of the nation’s favourite video streaming service.

Ghost World / Ghost World

Words: Emmett Barlow
Twitter: @EmmettBarlow


Does size really matter? Well, taking this weekend’s box office takings into account, it really doesn’t. The Rock’s hulking Hercules has seemingly been left in the period in which it’s set by its significant other, Lucy; a contemporary thriller that plays like Limitless but with a far more evolved plot and engaged gender roles – as opposed to the aforementioned shock and awe slice that’s overly eager with the body butter. It’s therefore only fair that this week’s NFOTW is the best Netflix has to offer from Lucy’s leading lady, Scarlett Johansson, ScoJo or ScarJo – depending on what the TMZ headz are currently calling her.

The obvious pick to accompany Lucy‘s release would be Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation but, as anyone who read Bill Murray’s Reddit AMA will know, we now all know what got whispered in her ear at the end…

Therefore peering over the proverbial petunias is the slightly darker, infinitely wittier, and more commendable than any string of superlatives could do justice for its status as one of the few films that can boast casting Steve Buscemi to then not go and blow his head off, Ghost World; Terry Zwigoff’s 2001 master class in teenage pseudo-sartorial elegance.

Based on Daniel Clowes and Sophie Crumb graphic novel of the same name, Ghost World tails masters of monotone, Enid (Thora Birch) and Becky’s (Johansson) meanderings through the urban sprawl of an unnamed American town, alongside their aimless days of pop culture criticisms and upbraided approach to absolutely everything – until their friendship is strained by the befriending of 1920’s Jazz geek Seymour (Buscemi).

Although this is arguably Thora Birch’s film, the performance would be nothing without the palpable chemistry between herself and Johansson, and through them a dour and dark humour flows in abundance. It’s definitely worth watching the young Miss ScarJo simper in this NFOTW before you go and watch her sizzle in this week’s new release.

Ghost World is available on Netflix UK now.

2 thoughts on “Netflix Film of the Week: Ghost World

  1. Nice pick! Though the ending’s a bit cheap, everything else is pretty great. Especially because it feels like real teens talking and interacting with one another, rather than these cardboard cut-outs we’ve seen a hundred times before in far more terrible movies.

    1. Hi Dan, thanks for the like and taking the time to comment. I actually haven’t seen the film myself, but I have read many pieces, including Emmett’s, which speak very highly of the picture. I’ve always felt that much of its charm rested predominantly in the quirky aesthetic, but after some minor research (watching the trailer!) I get the impression that it possesses some really interesting characterisation. I’ll have to take Emmett’s advice and give it a watch.

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