Thora Birch ("American Beauty") has a disdainful demeanor as Enid that can instantly refreeze any social iceberg she's melted with her callipygian sensuousness. While director Terry Zwigoff's ("Crumb") presents a contrived third act anticlimax, the film's loose rendering of Daniel Clowes' graphic novel of the same title is satisfying in ways that more than compensate for the film's soft ending. This is a movie about ironic teen attitude and cynical tone barking out an existence in the wasteland of American suburbia - which is what most of America has been homogenized into. "Ghost World" unearths the ever-diminishing attraction for authenticity as a necessarily lonely and skeptical backward reaching struggle. That there is an all-important degree of curiosity and even optimism buried in Enid's mettle proves to be the diamond of the protagonist's youthful core.
Rated R. 111 mins. (B) (Three Stars)