This very special movie casts a fine, delicate spell; many may resist it, but those who go along with it may find themselves profoundly moved, transported to a soul-stirring, poetically cosmic place. In A Ghost Story, writer/director David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Pete's Dragon) has created a deceptively small movie, confined in space (it uses the squarish, 1-to-1.33 screen aspect ratio), with very little dialogue and simple, spare effects. (The ghost is very deliberately nothing more than a guy in a sheet.)
But this simplicity is used to conjure mighty emotional reactions. Long, slow, still shots allow viewers to reflect on grief, death, life, love, and other things, while more startling transitions -- such as breathtaking leaps through time -- arouse larger, more existential questions. The haunting sound design and music are always note-perfect, and rarely, if ever, break the mood. A Ghost Story is everything from a heartbreakingly simple love story to a rumination on the meaning of place in our lives to a pondering of life itself.