Two quirky, cynical teenaged girls try to figure out what to do with their lives after high school graduation. After they play a prank on an eccentric, middle aged record collector, one of them befriends him, which causes a rift in the girls' friendship.
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 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. *** from ****
Reviewed by Prismark106 / 10
Ghost World is the anti John Hughes teen movies of the 1980s. The type of movies Hughes made such as The Breakfast Club, Some KInd of Wonderful, Pretty in Pink which were not quite as alternative or radical as many initially thought.
Ghost World sets out its stall in the opening credits with a groovy dance scene from a 1960s Bollywood film. Enid (Thora Birch) is mimicking those moves.
At the graduation ceremony at High School. Enid and best friend Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) make fun of a student who was disabled in a car crash. Enid liked her more when she was an alcoholic and a drug addict. Now she is little Miss Perfect in a wheelchair.
Enid and Rebecca think they are too smart and choose to be outsiders with their piercing barbs at everyone they meet. After high school they have no plans for college or a career.
It is Enid who really is a misfit. Rebecca isn more conventionally pretty, gets a job in a coffee shop and plans to move into an apartment.
Enid does not realise that the best friends are drifting apart. Enid cannot hold down a job in a popcorn stand in a cinema.
When Enid and Rebecca decide to play a trick on a dorky loner loser Seymour (Steve Buscemi.) Enid discovers that he really is a kind of kindred spirit.
Seymour likes old records, vintage art posters and he works as an executive in some fried chicken outfit. His passion for art gives Enid an idea about her art class that she needs to do at summer school.
Enid also tries to hook up Seymour with a girlfriend when she originally set him up with a fake date for a laugh.
Directed by documentary maker Terry Zwigoff. Ghost World takes a layered look at the life of teenagers. It has a cult reputation simply because it knows that there are no easy answers to growing up.
However I did regard both Enid and Rebecca as self absorbed narcissists. They were too consumed in their own smart ass view of the world. They had no empathy for anyone else. At least Enid shifted a little with Seymour but then became jealous when he did find someone.
The best performance was from Buscemi who is the one character who has a heart tom give but no takers.
Reviewed by claudio_carvalho9 / 10
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 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")