GHOST WORLD

(2000)
With Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, Steve Buscemi, Brad Renfro, Illeana Douglas, Bob Balaban, Teri Garr (uncredited)
Directed by Terry Zwigoff
Reviewed by JB

      Two bored high school girls, anti-everything Enid (Birch) and stonefaced Becky (Johansson), amuse themselves by making fun of the people in their town, including one odd record collector named Seymour (Buscemi) Enid comes to admire.

     The film features three characters who, for various reasons, cannot connect to the world ("I can't relate to 99 percent of humanity," Seymour  casually relates to Enid at one point).  Seymour loses himself in his collection of antique "thing-a-ma-jigs", knowing full well they are substitutes for real relationships.  Becky longs for a normal life, complete with job and apartment.  Enid is the most hopeless case, as she watches the only two people she can connect with drift away from her.   

     Aside from great work by Birch (she's amazing) and Buscemi (has he ever not been excellent in anything?), there's a good performance by the now more famous Johansson.  I still don't know what kind of an actress she is, but she's got the whole deadpan Buster Keaton thing going on here that's fun to watch.  Bob Balaban, the Morgan Freeman of independent films, has a small part as Enid's dad, and Illeana Douglas is perfect as an art teacher who is more concerned about the socio-political messages behind her student's work than whether the work is actually good.  The late Brad Renfro, who died in 2008 at the age of 25, can be seen in a small part as Josh, the kid that works at the convenience store. 4 - JB

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ADD ANOTHER QUOTE AND MAKE IT A GALLON

"Some people are ok; mostly I just feel like poisoning everybody."

ANGER MANAGEMENT CLASS TAUGHT BY STEVE BUSCEMI

(Seymour waits in his car for a family to cross the street)
"What are we, in slow motion here!?  C'mon, what are you, hypnotized!?  Have some more kids, why don't you!?"

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