The Ghost Writer is a film from Roman Polanski starring Ewan McGregor as a writer hired in a flash to ghostwrite the memoirs of fictional British Prime Minister Adam Lang, played nicely by Pierce Brosnan. McGregor’s predecessor had died under suspicious circumstances,hence the quick hiring. There is lots of suspense, and an overall feeling of impending doom, thanks in large part to Polanski’s direction. He sets a scene up so precisely that each frame is pertinent to the overall film. The acting is top-notch and the plot is certainly topical.
The Ghost Writer was an excellent movie, one of the best thriller/mystery movies Ive seen in years. It does start slow and the rain never stops. However this is a perfect backdrop. By 1/2 hour the pace is picking up drawing you in. Ewan is outstanding and Olivia outstanding. At the midpoint you realize you are on a ride and don’t know where it will go. I love how innocent, trusting and Niave, Ewan is – all the way until the end. The end will disappoint a few people but is still awesome. In fact, the end MAKES the movie. They could have taken the easy way out but did not. I rarely rate a movie five stars. It must be outstanding and stick with me for days.
Subtle, stylish and even modernist noirish with shadings that even on watching The Ghost Writer a second and third time, I found new things. Polansky is a master story-teller, and his actors turn in brillant performances. This is what a real director can do! No need here for all those nausea-inducing, pretentious and tedious hand-held camera jigglings and spins. This is top-notch Polansky, and a work that should become a film school staple for both future directors and actors.
Roman Polanski has given us a taut red herring thriller very similar to the sensibilities of Michael Clayton. It has a basic plot line of a ghost writer (solid Ewen Mcgregor) who is doing a book by the PM of Britain (Pierce Brosnan) who is under attack for alleged war crimes. In the process of re-writing the PMs book Mcgregor discovers info that is not only dis-concerting but may be dangerous to his well being. If you are a Polanski fan and taut thrillers this is better than most.
“The Ghost Writer” is the work of a true master. It is Roman Polanski’s eighteenth film as a director, and it proves, if it needed further proving, that at age 77, he just as brilliant a filmmaker as he ever was. He has made one of his best films to date, a taut, pulse-pounding political thriller of Hitchcockian proportions that also contains echoes of his own films, particularly “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby.” It is one of the most intensely crafted thrillers in recent years, as it blends classic Hitchcock themes with modern political allusions, while Polanski, I think, also manages to slip in some very personal incite into his own controversial situation with the law. It all adds up to a masterwork of the genre that perhaps offers us more questions than answers by the end, but that is all the more reason to watch it again.