Clara's Ghost

Director: Bridey Elliott
Screenwriters: Bridey Elliott

Institute History


Actor Ted Reynolds and Clara, his scattered, homemaker wife, welcome their twenty-something daughters—a pair of former child stars—back to their Connecticut home so Ted and the girls can be in a family-themed photo shoot for an airplane magazine. While celebrating their dog’s birthday with amiable drug dealer Poo Poo, the vodka-loving clan’s banter becomes increasingly bitter and petty, and they devolve into a drunken mess. Meanwhile, a specter only Clara can see urges her to confront her self-centered family.

Writer/director/star Bridey Elliott, a Sundance Film Festival Shorts alum (2016’s Affections), blends the voyeuristic cattiness of an insider showbiz comedy with an unsettling portrait of the haunted Clara, setting a striking tone for this funny, wonderfully strange film. Elliott enlists her dad and sister (former SNL stars Chris and Abby Elliott) to riff on their own identities as a multigenerational acting family, while Elliott’s mom (Paula), in her film debut, brings poignancy to a character drifting on the periphery of her egotistical family’s drunken squabbles, but taking center stage in the film’s attention.

— H.Z.

Screening Details

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