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The Ghost Writer [Blu-ray] (2010)
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When a gifted ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) is hired to write the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), he quickly finds himself trapped in a web of political and sexual intrigue. Lang is implicated in a scandal over his administration's harsh tactics, and as the ghostwriter digs into the politican's past, he discovers secrets that threaten to jeopardize international relations forever.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated Unrated (Not Rated)
- Package Dimensions : 7.1 x 5.42 x 0.58 inches; 2.93 Ounces
- Media Format : Blu-ray
- Run time : 2 hours and 8 minutes
- Actors : Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan
- Subtitles: : English
- Studio : Entertainment One
- ASIN : B003JZCVRS
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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1. The look of the film is spectacular. Almost every shot is beautifully composed in muted shades of grey, and deep blue which are then accented by small splashes of yellow and red. If you're at all familiar with the work of the artist James Coignard you'll recognize the style immediately. A real treat for the eyes.
2. This is a brilliant homage to Hitchcock. The pace is right out of Vertigo and the score could easily have been composed by Bernard Hermann.
3. If you watch it carefully there is an eerie under current that implies that the Ghost Writer is, in fact, a ghost; he has no family, he has no name, and throughout the film characters react to him as if he were a ghost. A cab driver doesn't acknowledge him when he says, "This place really comes alive at night", an asian cook stares at him in fear when she delivers his lunch, he's "the only guest in the hotel", etc. In the end he vanishes and fluttering paper is all we're left with.
I can watch this film over and over. Top marks!
To me, the story is rubbish. It is based on a book by some very critical of Tony Blair. In addition to much which is illogical, such as why Ewan did this and then did that, or why the first Ghost Writer went to see Emmet if he had already figured out the "Secret", consider the obvious:
Emmet was 22 when he graduated from Yale, then went straight to get a PhD in Britain for 4 years, then at only 26 he was lecturing at Harvard? Where apparently he suddenly became part of the CIA and then immediately recruited the woman. That's NOT how the CIA operates by the way, in case anyone is interested. It's a govt agency not a talent agency. And you have to serve a few years and train in DC first. Also how did the woman know Brosnan was going to be PM at the tender age of about 25? So, soo dumb! Oh, and in all those years they were married he never noticed that she was a member of the CIA? No calls? emails? paychecks? They have kids or a kid and are in love and she is more loyal to the CIA? Such rubbish! Not to mention the CIA would not be interested in some privileged kids who go to Harvard or Yale. Usually those are not going to turn to spies and work on a govt. salary!
Finally, what the hell is this story all about? That the British CIA woman (don't they have to be American citizen to work at the CIA anyway?) influenced her British PM husband to follow policies favorable to the US, like this man who made to PM is so dumb and easily manipulated that none of his decisions are his own. And so who cares? He wasn't brainwashed, he still made those decisions. So what is the point of all this?
I would also highly question how the men in black suddenly and conveniently appear out of nowhere and why the wife even bothered to hire a Ghost Writer in the first place? What just to have a stranger digging around their closets? Why not just re-write the memoirs herself to suit her since she is so smart and manipulative. SUCH A DUMB DUMB STORY!
Oh, can't forget the ending. Really, after everything they put us thru, did that cartoonish Road Runner ending need to be part of the script? Is that what the author of the book really thinks the CIA do? Or is it added on by Polanski and the other writer (Harris or something?) as a way to make the U.S. look bad.. ie flip them the proverbial finger. Movie really makes me mad and for naught, cause the plot is dumber than hell and makes no sense anyway.
Throughout this film, I thought repeatedly of Hitchcock--the framing of the scenes, the linear, suspense-building story, the masterful camera work, and of course, the famous final scene.
The movie is dialog-heavy, not meant for those who crave constant fast action, although its few action scenes are fantastic. But the real thrills are in the plot. Again, like Hitchcock.
I'm not suggesting that Polanski copies Hitchcock; I'm saying he's pretty to close to the same level of craftsmanship. And that's impressive.
By the way, Hitchcock often included bits of humor in his films. Here, it's the poor guy who has to keep the patio swept at the mansion in Martha's Vineyard. It's a sisyphean task. No sooner than he gets it swept, the wind blows dead grass back on it. It's symbolic in a couple of ways.
If you want to learn how to write, construct and then act a sex scene POORLY, look no further. No intrigue at any point - sexual or not. I watched over a few days because it was so tedious, even with a glass of wine in hand, that I couldn't bring myself to finishing it in one or even two sittings.
I did finish it. The background of the movie is of personal interest. But, I cannot recommend it. You will have no new thoughts on matters. You will glean no insight.
You will waste 2 hours.
It was headshakingly lame.
Perhaps what was most obnoxious was how clearly - look at the Sec. of State, look at the names, look at ... you name it - this was written and executed by someone(s) who had an axe to grind with Tony Blair. It was childish.
Disappointing. I now think less of everyone involved in this production.
Top reviews from other countries
Der Film basiert auf dem gleichnamigen Roman von Robert Harris.
Wer vom Trailer her einen nervenaufreibenden Thriller erwartet wird ganz sicher enttäuscht werden. Polanski nimmt sich vor allem was Action angeht sehr zurück, sie ist praktisch nicht vorhanden. „Der Ghostwriter“ ist dennoch spannend, bis zum Schluss überraschend, und im besten Sinne altmodisch inszeniert, dem großen Vorbild des Genres, Alfred Hitchcock, fast schon ein bisschen verpflichtet. Doch überraschenderweise hat die erste Stunde einige sehr witzige Momente. Damit meine ich nicht Brachialhumor, sondern eher Situationskomik und feinen Wortwitz.
Die Geschichte des Films könnte man sehr schnell zusammenfassen:
Ein britischer Ex-Premier mit ausgeprägten populistischen Fähigkeiten möchte nun seine Memoiren schreiben und behilft sich dazu mit einem Ghostwriter. Doch während die Arbeit vorangeht, wird er unvermittelt mit seiner Vergangenheit und Anklagen wegen kriegsverbrecherischer Taten im Irak-Krieg konfrontiert. Kriegstreiberei, Vertuschung und Folter werden ihm vorgeworfen...
Pierce Brosnan spielt diesen Premier als König ohne Land, als von der Macht und anschließender Machtlosigkeit verdorbene Charaktermaske, der sein Herrschaftsgebaren nicht ablegen kann - eine Spur zu gut aussehend wirkt er tatsächlich wie ein gealteter Strahlemann Blair. Olivia Williams als seine Frau ist die intelligentere, der Kopf hinter der Macht. Man weiß nie, ob sie nun auch der sensiblere Charakter ist, oder die wahre Lady Macbeth, die in diesem Stück ihren Mann wie eine Marionette lenkt ... die Macht verdirbt vor allem den, der sie nicht (mehr) hat.
Ganz hervorragend auch Ewan McGregor als angeheuerter Memoirenautor, der an seiner Arbeit zweifelt, und einer Verschwörung auf die Schliche kommt ...
Doch früher oder später kippen die Verhältnisse, und die Figuren werden durch das Geschehen zum Handeln und zur Positionierung gezwungen. Neugierig, maliziös, tollkühn: Welche Stimmungen auch immer ihr Suchen und Vertuschen begründen, sie werden immer mehr repräsentative Gefühle, Masken, Schauspielerei. Im Hintergrund läuft schon das Uhrwerk der Inszenierung. Das lässt Charaktere sterben, Dokumente verschwinden, um auf der anderen Seite verborgene Codes, Rockzipfel der Verschwörung durch die Ritzen der Heimlichtuerei lugen zu lassen.
Drei Figuren in einer Geschichte, die noch am Ende ambivalent ist: Der Täter scheint zwar klar, doch könnte alles auch ganz anders sein. Suspense vom Feinsten...
Besonders gelungen sind die Innenansichten aus dem Alltag der Macht.
„Der Ghostwriter“ ist eine Art ironisches Gesellschaftsbild, das die Innenausstattung der Macht mit Designermöbeln, festungsgleichen Nobelhäusern am Meer, täglichem Sportprogramm und zunehmender Amoral zeigt, das beschreibt, wie man in den politischen Chefetagen lebt, und sich einrichtet.
Die Seitenhiebe in Richtung des politischen Establishments sitzen, wenn Olivia Williams als Adam Langs launische Gattin Ruth ihrem Mann vor dem Fernseher sitzend flehend rät, „nicht zu grinsen!“, und der just in diesem Moment die strahlenden Zähnchen zeigt.
„Der Ghostwriter“ ist absolut kein Film der mit viel Action und unaufhaltsamer Hetzjagd aufwartet. Wer das erwartet, wird sich vermutlich schon allein wegen des Tempos in diesen 130 Minuten einfach nur langweilen.
Das wäre allerdings äußert schade, denn wenn man dem Film seine Zeit gibt und die Möglichkeit, sich in seinem langsamen aber sehr wirkungsvollen Spannungsaufbau voll zu entfalten, dann bekommt man hier nicht nur einen hochspannenden Thriller serviert, sondern auch einen intelligenten Film mit grandiosem Finale.
The story of the ghost writer for a former British PM gives an interesting insight in the life of the high and mighty and the political spin that goes on behind the facade. A short scene where the newly arrived "ghost" is matter-of-factly tasked with formulating a momentous statement for immediate public release is very telling. In a time when we all love to hate high profile politicians and are quite aware of the lies their lives are, this story works a treat.
The casting is inspired. Pierce Brosnan has the just the right kind of good looks and slightly smarmy charisma to make us both fall under the spell of the slippery politician he portrays and despise him, at the same time and to the same extent. Also, it's always a joy to see him, even he doesn't actually have an awful lot of screen time here. Ewan McGregor is the real lead, and he is absolutely perfect for the inconspicuous ghost writer, totally unimpressed with the trapppings of power, for whom the memoir of this particular politician is just another job. He is very good playing characters like this and he is both likable and relatable as the hapless ghost who becomes far more involved in this dark tale of corruption than he bargained for. Of the ladies, I absolutely loved Olivia Williams as the Ex-PM's acerbic wife. Kim Cattrall is as the PA cum mistress is fine but not particularly memorable. Also fun to see the late and great Eli Wallach in a small cameo, one of his last appearances on the silver screen.
Good film and definitely worth checking out if you haven't seen it. Also if you are a fan of any of the leading actors.
The DVD I purchased ("The Ghost", Optimum Home Entertainment UK/Ireland release with white background on cover) is very nice. Picture and sound are good. It has English subtitles for those who may want or need them. Also included are the following extra features:
~~~ The Cast of the Ghost Featurette
~~~ The Ghost: Fiction or Reality Featurette
~~~ World Premiere in Berlin
~~~ Interviews with Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Williams, Robert Harris and Roman Polanski
The movie is technically excellent and clearly demonstrates the capabilities of European cinema. This movie may appear somewhat slight, but it is much more substantial than it seems. Roman Polanski (in the special features section) says that this is a movie for adults. True enough, so long as the demography of the adults, does not extend beyond the borderline juvenile.
That sniping, aside, Roman Polanski and writing partner Robert Harris, could have added substantially more beef, beyond that which was barely alluded to (the brief discussion between Adam Lang and the ghost writer on the short flight back to Island, just before Adam Lang is assassinated)), without too much extra effort. The dialogue is mostly plain vanilla, but this may be necessary to avoid complications when translated into German, etc.
Other commentators have complained about Ewan McGregor's British accent. He sounded quite like the writer and broadcaster Tony Parsons, to me.