chelsea’s review published on Letterboxd :
first 20 minutes is derivative slow cinema. weird bastardization of apichatpong meets malick but in rural america, and devoid of sensuality (so, so very devoid of sensuality), and without the wonderous beauty, complex meditations, or really anything interesting. and that's the best part.
after, it becomes self-important. this is a film that thinks it's brilliant. in q&a the director informed us that the beethoven rant is a serious thing, not a total joke. how embarrassing. even if it was a joke it was overlong and not very funny. but as a serious thing? come on.
the film loses the good cinematography which characterized its opening and focuses more on shallow, meaningless ideas, and a general lack of thought. the director said he wrote this while going through an existential crisis, and that he is not longer in that crisis. that makes sense. this is so obviously a film about time, life, and death, made by someone who has not thought very deeply about existence. by someone who had an existential crisis, as opposed to the constant one we should all be having.
other things: the music is horrendous. this falls into the issue of this film thinking it's just ever so smart. so smart, so insightful, so artistic, so GOOD. but IT BAD.
another thing: it feels gross to watch casey affleck, post sexual harassment allegations, in a role like this. lowery likes his protagonists, his actors, too much, and rarely seems to realise that they are not interesting or appealing to the camera. but in the case of mara, the only thing is she's bland as anything, and often uncomfortably off (the pie eating, of course, but when she bops along to that song on the headphones, that very bad song, with her weird rhythmless movements, i cringed...). but affleck, ungroomed and unkempt as if to drive home the point that he's a repulsive figure, is unpalatable.
final thing: i think it's disrespectful to not sub the spanish. it tells us that what they have to say does not matter. i think it's disrespectful that they are the only people who get terrorized by the ghost. i think that in the present political climate, to have the only people terrorized and driven out of their home be latino is, if i'm being generous, tone-deaf. but even ghosts hate immigrants, i guess!