Best Movies of All Time + Roman Polanski



You can watch the trailer here

The Ghost Writer follows a young, well, ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) who lands a job crafting the memoirs of Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), a former prime minister of Great Britain. From the start, the writer feels a bit of concern with the job, and his nervousness isn't aided by the fact that accusations of war crimes soon surface against Lang. The writer travels to the United States (where Lang is staying/hiding) to work on the book, but he soon becomes engrossed with discovering the secrets uncovered by the previous ghostwriter who had mysteriously drowned only days earlier.

Honestly, the plot is much more intricate than what I've laid out, but if you really want a full synopsis, look it up on Wikipedia. I try not to give everything away. As excited as I was about watching this movie, I have to say that I was a little bit disappointed. It's not that there were holes in the story, although I'm sure I could name a few; instead, it was that this political thriller left me rather bored fairly quickly. Sure, it picked up in the last thirty minutes or so, but the film just didn't have that thrilling of a quality about it. I just felt like everyone was trudging along, going through the motions. There just seemed to be too much information being thrown at me all at once, and maybe I couldn't keep up with it, but who knows. I did, however, like the fact that McGregor's character was never named - it accentuated the fact that he was a ghostwriter. A little lame, but I liked it.

The acting is good, but it's definitely nothing to rave about. McGregor is decent as our lead, but it's nowhere near his best work. Considering he's on-screen for most of the film, I wish he would've given a little bit more. Brosnan was grossly under-used - all I'd heard was that he was fantastic in his supporting role (and he is very good), but he's barely in the movie. Out of the two hours, I'd be surprised if he's actually on-screen for more than ten minutes. Hell, that's usually not enough to get your picture on the poster, but I guess that's marketing for you. The best acting in the film probably belongs to Olivia Williams who plays Lang's neglected wife.

To be fair, most of the film's press came from the fact that it was directed by the troubled Roman Polanski who's still dealing with all of his legal issues. I don't have many Polanski films in my repertoire (the only other film is 2002's The Pianist), so I can't really compare it to the rest of his filmography, but I can tell you that The Ghost Writer has been very well-received by critics. It's also worth mentioning that Brosnan's character is apparently a near-perfect analogue for the real-life former prime minister Tony Blair, but I'm also not well-versed in the particulars of his life. Maybe Polanski fans or people with knowledge of Tony Blair will appreciate this film more than I did, but for me, The Ghost Writer was just a bore.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: C-
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2010, drama, Ewan McGregor, Ghost Writer, life, movie review, Olivia Williams, Pierce Brosnan, and more:

Relevant to: THE GHOST WRITER + Roman Polanski