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A Ghost Story by Daniel Hart (Review)

posted Jul 21, 2017, 12:44 PM by Kaya Savas

When director David Lowery and composer Daniel Hart burst onto the scene with Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, we immediately saw two auteur storytellers working in harmony to create absolutely emotionally stirring narratives that pulled us in as an audience. After Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Lowery went on to direct Disney’s live-action retelling of Pete’s Dragon which was also beautifully scored by Daniel Hart. With A Ghost Story we see Hart’s ability as a storyteller grow even more, and through this score he was able to find the absolute emotional core of this arresting experience. This music born from this film resonates deep within the audience and echoes the powerfully poetic narrative in the best way possible.

A Ghost Story is beautiful, it’s painful, it’s devastating and it’s uplifting. Daniel Hart found such a perfect tone and approach for the score that it’s able to resonate on a deeply emotional level without doing too much work. The music is never overbearing or manipulative, but each note feels like it’s being pulled out of a living soul. The music instantly feels personal, it instantly feels like it's commenting on your state of mind. The whole score feels like a ballad meant to accompany you into the afterlife, it carries your love and loss along with every beautiful moment you experienced in your lifetime along with every painful one. This sense of loss is carried through the score, but everything about the score feels like internal reflection which is why it resonates on a deep emotional level. The score itself is not too long and only does enough without overstaying its welcome. Daniel’s band Dark Rooms also contributes to the soundscape of the film, and everything works so well a whole. By the time we come to the end of the story we feel like we reflected on our entire life up to this point.

A Ghost Story is a score about life and everything that comes with it. It's a very broad description, but it’s the only way to describe how such a poignant and subtle score was able to capture every moment of happiness and heartache of life in one narrative experience. The score is a beautiful ballad about love and loss, and the music has this powerful quality that makes it feel like it’s bleeding out of your soul. Everything here is just such a beautiful and perfect match to David Lowery’s vision that you can’t help but be pulled in by the music. A Ghost Story is an exemplary example of Daniel Hart’s talents as a storyteller, as well as how well he works with director David Lowery. This score is a fascinating and deeply resonating examination of the human condition and shouldn’t be missed.