Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Ghost Writer - Movie Review


Starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton, Jon Bernthal, James Belushi and Eli Wallach.
Directed by Roman Polanski.

Roman Polanski, the two-time Oscar-winning director who still hasn't done his jailtime for his 1977 statutory-rape conviction, is still a good director. And there were a couple sequences that were filled with the suspense I would expect from the director of Chinatown and Frantic. Most of the movie, however, takes its time building a mystery that's quite predictable.

Ewan McGregor plays a ghost writer who's hired to help the former Prime Minister Adam Lang (clearly meant to be Tony Blair) finish his memoirs after the last ghost writer committed suicide. Lang is under a lot of scrutiny for a recent exposure that he authorized the kidnapping of four British citizens who were terrorism suspects who were then turned over to the CIA for torture (no "enhanced interrogation technique" euphemisms here). The longer the ghost is there, the more he realizes his predecessor may have been murdered.

The highlight of the movie is really the directorial flourishes. The chase scene on the ferry, the note passing from the back of the room to the front, the final shot. The actual plot and its twists are easy to figure out, and acting-wise everyone was competant but didn't really need to do anything special.

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