121 of 131 people found the following review helpful
This One Is Really Good,
This review is from: The Ghost Writer [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"The Ghost Writer" is a Roman Polanski political thriller of the first order. It is very cleverly plotted with gripping suspense and narrative drive that pulls you into the story. Some movies of late have seemed endless; in this one I was completely unaware of time passing and was completely enthralled by this story of the deepest intrigue. It's full of conspiracies, and the whole thing is done in a very classy, sophisticated manner that will remind you of Hitchcock at his very best. It's engrossing and involving.
The acting is top-notch with Ewan McGregor very effective as the ghost writer who has been brought in to liven up the memoirs of a former prime minister (played extremely well by Pierce Brosnan). He is a Tony Blair figure who has been fingered for war crimes by one of his former cabinet ministers. He has ordered the arrest and rendering out of Britain of suspects so that they could be tortured for information.
The movie begins in gloomy, leaden weather on the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. A car is discovered without a driver. The man's body turns up later on the island, the victim of accident, suicide, or as we rightly assume, murder. Foul play indeed! He is the previous ghost writer who has now been replaced by McGregor. And of course he found out too much while doing his research. McGregor, of course, knows he could be a target as well.
Polanski has deliberately made very mundane matters seem full of import and menace. It's full of clues and mysterious doings in the austere modernistic house so alien to the Vineyard. The cinematography and atmospherics are terrific. A lot of sinister-seeming goings-on.
They don't make them this good anymore, and I think viewers will be pleasantly surprised. The intellectually curious and politically savvy will be impressed, I think. Pierce Brosnan by the force of his personality makes Tony Blair seem like a naïve schoolboy by comparison.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 5, 2010 9:35:22 PM PDT
Thanks for your insightful review. Yes, it did remind me of Hitchcock. I thought one of the most interesting characters in the film was Ruth Lang -- a very politically savvy person with a love-hate relationship with her husband. I felt the film built up to a very interesting climax and ending.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 3, 2010 1:17:21 AM PDT
Kate McMurry says:
John, thanks for the excellent review. You're right that the kind of movie you are describing is very rare these days. Based on your information, I'm definitely going to give this movie a try.
Posted on Dec 5, 2010 11:29:30 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 5, 2010 11:36:43 PM PST
The Ghost (Mass Market Paperback)The Ghost, by Robert Harris is the book on which this film is based. This is not mentioned on the DVD webpage.
Posted on Jun 11, 2011 11:13:26 PM PDT
Richard P. Beaudry says:
And, hautingly, the music pulled all together as it did in "Psycho" with similar buildups at the right moments with great forboding Great fun! RPB
Posted on May 25, 2012 6:24:25 PM PDT
Why would a CIA agent allow someone outside the Agency to be the ghost writer?
There are many implausible plot points, but this one undermines the entire story.
In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 1:54:51 AM PDT
T. Ford says:
The CIA had nothing to do with the hiring of the ghost writer- that was a decision by the book's publishers, as depicted early on in the film.
In reply to an earlier post on May 28, 2012 10:30:27 AM PDT
Ruth recommended him because she liked his work on another book.
The publishers weren't sold on him prior to that meeting.
(Thanks for the respectful reply!)
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 2, 2012 3:02:40 AM PDT
T. Ford says:
I believe you answered (in part) your own question. The fact that he seemed naive about politics made him a suitable choice for the principals involved. Nobody felt he was a threat. And remember, they didn't really have time to vet the ghost writer. There's nothing to suggest that Ruth had final determination on who to hire anyway- the fact that she was aware of his work simply made what had to be a quick decision, easier.
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