Newest Polanski Film “The Ghost Writer” Won’t Disappear

The Ghost Writer Movie Poster | Photo From www.filmschoolsrejects.com

The Ghost Writer Movie Poster | Photo From www.filmschoolsrejects.com

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Sammy Warshaw ’12
Staff Writer

The Ghost Writer Movie Poster | Photo From www.filmschoolsrejects.com

For his entire directorial film career, legendary director Roman Polanski has crafted one absorbing picture after another. His latest work, “The Ghost Writer” is no exception.

“The Ghost Writer” is classic Polanski. Its stylish, elegant and memorable. Sure, Polanski’s off screen dalliances with the law may put a damper on his career as a whole, but behind the camera, Polanski never loses the ability to create serious tension and genuine suspense.

Before we get any further, I feel obligated to explain what a ghost writer is. By definition, a ghostwriter is a professional writer who is paid to write books, articles, reports, that are credited to another person.

The film stars Ewan Mcgregor, an unnamed writer who is assigned to be a “ghost writer” of an autobiography for Adam Lang, former British prime-minister. When Mcgregor arrives to Lang’s gorgeous Massachusetts summer house, he meets Lang’s political company, along with his supportive but mysterious wife.

McGregor thinks that his only job is to write the autobiography, but soon realizes that he has several other obstacles. The plot gets complicated when Lang is accused of war crimes, putting McGregor right in the middle of a political nightmare. In addition, McGregor is faced with the difficult task of uncovering the mystery behind the recent death of Lang’s former ghostwriter.

Lang is perfectly cast as Pierce Brosnan,, a character who seems clueless but may know more than the audience believes. McGregor proves that he is still a force in Hollywood, giving an understated performance necessary for the film’s success.

Also notable is Olivia Williams, playing Lang’s complex and puzzling wife. She brings a perfect amount of subtly and intrigue to the role, managing to never let McGregor, or the audience, into her head. There is also a fine performance from the feisty Kim Cattrall, playing Lang’s closest associate.

Everything nearly works in this film. The pacing, camerawork, acting and plot twist all complement each other, rather than overpower. Although “The Ghost Writer” will not get nearly as many box-office bucks, I still believe it to be a smarter, deeper, and more engaging picture than Martin Scorsese’s newest film, “Shutter Island.”

While “The Ghost Writer” isn’t as prolific or revelatory as Polanski’s other work, it is still an extremely taut and intelligent political thriller, and it needs to be seen.