Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Ghost Writer

Even when someone has a well-regarded public image, they're still bound to have a few skeletons in their closet. (More than often it'll be someone in politics.) At some point, their private lives will seep into the tabloids.

Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer is such a film that's willing to deconstruct a person's image. (Bear in mind the director is no stranger to controversy himself.) Former Prime Minister Adam Lang (a Tony Blair caricature in the form of a smug Pierce Brosnan) is working on his memoirs and has hired a ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) to help finish it. But the ghost writer becomes curious about the fate of the writer hired before him...

Like Polanski's earlier film Chinatown, The Ghost Writer is a film with a slow burn, the kind that builds up to the big reveal. .Unlike Chinatown, however, this film moves at a slower pace and it shows in spots. Still, it pays off in the end.

And the cast is what makes the film radiate. Olivia Williams shows a mix of rage and sorrow in her role. Brosnan displays a cocky attitude while keeping up a serious demeanor. But the star is McGregor, who should really have a nomination or two by now.

The Ghost Writer is a good recent entry from Polanski though I wouldn't rank it amongst, say, The Pianist. (It does get close though.) It's really worthy of a look.

My Rating: ****1/2

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