The Ghost Writer — 2010

“The Ghost Writer” (2010) was my favorite movies of 2010, and it wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar out of 10 movies – what’s with that? And yet, Black Swan was – what a creepy, icky movie that was. I especially liked the mysterious mood it puts you in and the music was perfect. The dialogue is terrific – this is the most important thing to me in a movie. Even after it was over, I was still intrigued. Polanski is truly one of the great directors of all time.

I found “The Ghost Writer” (2010) to be a very intriguing and gripping thriller that was very well-casted. I found some parallels to the Bush Administration and its illegal war in Iraq. Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams and Tom Wilikinson did very good jobs in their respective roles. They all came across as believable. Roman Polanski also did a very good job directing the movie.There were some twists and turns in this movie that I didn’t see coming. Ewan McGregor comes in as a ghost writer to help put the finishing touches on the memoir of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang who’s holding up at his vacation spot on an island just of New York State. He’s being investigated by the Hague for possible war crimes — turning over four British nations in Pakistan to the CIA for torture during interrogations. One eventually dies. And, Lang’s former aide turns up dead on the beach. And, that’s where McGregor comes in. He comes across some troubling information and investigates it. Lang’s former aide apparently put in some secret codes in the first six pages of the memoir.

Although I enjoyed The Ghost Writer, I had to watch it twice. For some reason it was difficult to hear certain dialogue (eg, the book launch). But, I thought it was well done (if a little slow and convoluted). The actors were good (except Kim Catrall’s in-and-out accent), and I enjoyed the cinematography and score – reminded me of the music in a 50’s thriller. The austere beach house and rainy weather really gave a certain feel to the film. It is interesting that none of the movie was filmed in the States or London (due to Polanski’s legal problems).

The only issue I had was “The Ghost’s” naivete – he even states he’s not a reporter, but he starts acting like one, poking around the island, trusting many people he hardly knows. The hero is clueless. You would think an author might have read a mystery/thriller or two, but no. He stumbles from one bumbling lucky dodge to another when a few simple precautions, such as taking the battery out of his phone or renting the room across the hall, might have helped.

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