David Lowery's (Ain't Them Bodies Saints) haunting exploration of love and loss, winner of numerous festival prizes since its debut at Sundance 2017, is one of the most distinctive films to emerge from recent independent American cinema. Casey Affleck plays a sheet-shrouded spectre, fated to watch his widow (Rooney Mara) as she tentatively begins a new life without him. As his new existence as a detached observer becomes increasingly fruitless, he strives to find a way to connect with his former life, or somehow move on.
Lowery's poignant drama draws upon haunting traditions from well beyond American shores, such as Japanese ghost tales and the animal spirits of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, but terror is not the director's intention - this is in no way a horror film. Similarly, while Lowery's general air of strangeness recalls experimental works like Sergio Caballero's Finisterrae, the film's high-calibre stars bring an accessibility to this simple and affecting story. And Casey Affleck's performance, mostly enacted from underneath a white sheet with eye-holes, is one of the most unusual you'll ever see from a major Hollywood star. The film is displayed in a 4:3 aspect ratio.