Ghost World [2000]

If you've ever felt alienated by the world around you, Ghost World will offer laughter, tears, and reassurance that you are definitely not alone. Adapted by Daniel Clowes and Crumb director Terry Zwigoff from Clowes's acclaimed graphic novel, the movie spends summer vacation with high school graduates Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlet Johansson). They inflict little tortures on the denizens of urban sprawl, wielding scathing irony as a defense against a "ghost world" full of pop-cultural lemmings and uncertain futures. But when Enid picks a 40-ish vintage-record collector (Steve Buscemi) as the target of her latest cruel prank, she finds herself unexpectedly attracted to him ("he's the opposite of everything I completely hate") and is forced to confront her own crushing loneliness. This combination of deadpan sarcasm and deeply compassionate humanity makes Ghost World a rare and delicate comedy, with an ambiguous ending that suggests tragedy or hope, depending on your own point of view. --Jeff Shannon

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