The Ghost Writer
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Top Customer Reviews
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 He is the previous ghost writer who has now been replaced by McGregor.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.
Ewan McGregor plays the unnamed ghost writer hired to ghostwrite the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) after Lang's previous ghostwriter dies under mysterious circumstances. Soon after the Ghost arrives at Lang's beach house, where he's staying with his wife Ruth (Olivia Williams) and assistant Amelia (Kim Cattrall), controversy erupts over Lang's alleged involvement in handing terrorist suspects over to the CIA to be tortured.
Many recognizable faces appear in The Ghost Writer including James Belushi, Timothy Hutton, and Tom Wilkinson, in a terrific bit role. 95-year-old Eli Wallach also participates in the film and his brief scene brought a smile to my face. The performances are solid all-around; Ewan McGregor carries the film as the mysterious protagonist, while Pierce Brosnan gives his best performance in years as Adam Lang. Even Kim Cattrall does a solid job that should silence the skepticism over her cast. Olivia Williams (probably best known for Rushmore) makes the biggest impression in a performance that will likely be tragically overlooked come Oscar season.
The Ghost Writer is a masterpiece of atmosphere and tone, being more in control of those elements than almost any recent film that I can think of.Read more ›
In what has to be one of the best casting decisions, Pierce Brosnan plays Adam Lang the former Prime Minister of UK. Embroiled in a controversy regarding the rendition program, he has sought refuge in America. Ewan McGregor (he is never given a name) is hired as a ghost writer after the original one dies in a mysterious accident.
Your average thriller would start out with the base setup and build on the tension leading upto the finale. But in Ghost Writer the tension is always palpable. Even in the most mundane of scenes you are never allowed to settle. The remarkable background score by Alexandre Desplat and the camera work of Pawel Edelman which paints predominantly in varying shades of bleakness play a huge part in achieving that.
Pierce Brosnan is brilliant as a conflicted man who had to make difficult decisions in demanding situations. The movie very wisely chooses not take a stance on where it stands on those decisions. Olivia Williams as Ruth Lang produces an impressive multi-faceted performance in a meaty role - the kind rare in Hollywood these days.
So if you are open to separating the art from the artist, definitely watch this movie.
The movie is formula and politically charged. Yet we get to enjoy the suspense without a lot of blood and gore, no excess of explicative's or over cranked chase scenes. Roman Polanski seems to have mellowed out in his old age. Watching the movie, a second time will reveal the clues that were not blatant or masked.
I like the review of old actors in this presentation. I was surprised to see Eli Wallach. Aside from Kim Cattrall's accent, she was believable. Once Pierce Brosnan left those bond movies he also has become pretty good and fit the part in this film. I first became aware of Ewan McGregor from "Angels & Demons" then I remember seeing him around in a retroactive since; He can make expressions that speak better than words.
I only saw the Blue-Ray version so I cannot comment on other versions. I did find the documentary: The Ghost Writer: Fiction or Reality. Useful in sorting out the writer from the director, from the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie was equally good and it was a great movie. Thank you for such a good movie!Published 7 days ago by latriece
I would give this a high 3 stars. Well designed film - great filming and editing. I liked the story too - It just felt a little week towards the end maybe. Hell if a final ending!! Read morePublished 13 days ago by S. Caldwell
Slow-moving suspense that is beautifully filmed and well-acted. Ewan MacGregor is really extraordinary in The Ghost Writer; he dominates the screen by being almost completely... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Abedsbrother
For my money, a great film. Above and beyond being a good "thriller" there's three things that really stand out here;
1. The look of the film is spectacular. Read more
Good movie. It made me feel as though was living there events through the eye of Ewan MacGregor character. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ledoubleu
Get some chili, pour some drinks, and settle down to this smart political thriller about a Tony Blaire styled former British Prime Minister and his ghost writer. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Anne-Marie
Yikes, this was bad. This movie never figured out what it wanted to be, action, intrigue, political drama, romance, mystery, whatevs. Very little plot, character development. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Brian Jaffe