Ghost World

Enid (Birch) has an outrĂ© thing going on. She wears thriftshop cast-offs with pride. In her tortoiseshell specs and purple lip-gloss, she and best friend Rebecca (Johansson) like nothing better than to vent their wisecracking contempt for the conformity all around them. The way they see it, even going to college would be a sell-out. Instead they plan to take an apartment together, but they’ll have to earn some money before they can afford to drop out. What makes the film special is how it relishes adolescent rebellion (it’s based on Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel). But doesn’t stop there. It’s clear that, for pretty Rebecca especially, this is ‘just a phase’ – and what’s more, our heroines’ knee-jerk cynicism, reverse snobbery and ‘include me out’ cool need to be subjected to the mundane complexities of human relationships. Enid picks up a middle-aged sad sack, Seymour (Buscemi), as a kind of hobby, until he becomes an emotional attachment that she needs more than he does. This sort-of love story could have been sticky, but in fact it’s beautifully played. It isn’t a perfect film, but it’s never less than strikingly original. (Time Out)

2001 Dir. Terry Zwigoff. 1.85:1 Color dcp 111min.