The Ghost Writer is the newest movie by Roman Polanski* (an adaptation of a book by Robert Harris), starring Ewan McGregor, Olivia Williams, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Timothy Hutton, James Belushi and Tom Wilkinson.
After the sudden death of the previous ghost writer, a young author (Ewan McGregor) is asked to write the autobiography of Tony Blair a British politician in American exile (Pierce Brosnan). But soon the author discovers a conspiracy revolving around said politician, the previous ghost writer and the politician’s wife (Olivia Williams).
The movie is a tight political thriller, mostly well plotted even if totally unsurprising. The performances were good and the direction experienced. Just the ending is a complete suckfest.
I have to say that I don’t know much about British politics so I didn’t recognise all the/any digs at Tony Blair. But I told deadra, who does know about British politics, and she was like “yeah, that’s Tony Blair, no doubt about it”, so I guess that was very well done.
Plotwise it is solid right until the very end when suddenly there’s this totally obvious plot “twist” and then there’s this ending… *sigh*
[SPOILER] So, the ghost uncovers that it’s the wife rather than the politician himself who is actually a CIA spy. He discovers this at the book presentation of the autobiography, let’s the wife know that he knows, then leaves the presentation with the manuscript (= the proof) under his arm and is promptly hit by a car… I mean, gee. [/SPOILER]
The cast was good. It’s always nice to see Olivia Williams and Kim Cattrall (though it’s kinda depressing to see that Kim Cattrall always plays the same woman…) and Ewan McGregor is a sweety anyway. And Pierce Brosnan was perfectly chosen for the role.
Polanski’s direction was fine though nothing special. Sometimes it seems a little clichéd, a little tired – there was nothing technically wrong with it, it just seemed a little uninspired.
Summarising: Thriller fans will like it, other people can skip it.
*Just so you know, I think the whole rhetoric surrounding this movie à la “poor Polanski has to overcome adversity and finish his movie while under house arrest” is absolutely despicable. It should have been “because Polanski raped a 13-year-old and fled the country before he was sentenced, he had to finish the movie under house arrest. Serves him right, stupid asshole, since it’s kind of the point of house arrest that it’s a punishment.”
I was seriously considering not seeing the movie, kinda out of protest over the whole thing but then Ewan McGregor won me over. [DAMN YOUR CUTE SMILE! DAMN IT!]