Ghost World

October 18th, 2001


Ghost World

No valid json found

Still of Thora Birch in Ghost WorldScarlett Johansson and Thora Birch starTerry Zwigoff in Ghost WorldStill of Brad Renfro in Ghost WorldTerry Zwigoff in Ghost WorldStill of Teri Garr and Bob Balaban in Ghost World

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

Director: Terry Zwigoff

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

Thora Birch - Enid
Scarlett Johansson - Rebecca
Steve Buscemi - Seymour
Brad Renfro - Josh
Illeana Douglas - Roberta Allsworth
Bob Balaban - Enid's Dad
Stacey Travis - Dana
Charles C. Stevenson Jr. - Norman
Dave Sheridan - Doug
Tom McGowan - Joe
Debra Azar - Melora
Brian George - Sidewinder Boss
Pat Healy - John Ellis
Rini Bell - Graduation Speaker
T.J. Thyne - Todd

Taglines: Accentuate the negative.

Release Date: 18 October 2001

Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $98,791 (USA) (22 July 2001) (5 Screens)

Gross: $8,761,393 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


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.

Continuity: The position of the note clipped to Enid's diploma changes between shots.

Roberta: [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?
Phillip: Er... it's about The Mutilator.
Roberta: [smiling] My goodness!
Phillip: It's a really great video game about a guy who kills people with a big hammer.
Roberta: Oh. I thought maybe this was supposed to be your father.
[she gives a little laugh. Phillip looks confused]

User Review

Mature, intelligent and haunting (but in a good way)

Rating: 9/10

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 absurd conclusion.

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!


Comments are closed.