17 March 2010

Roman Polanski's THE GHOST WRITER - A Review

by guest columnist Michael Wendt.  Follow him on Twitter.

It may be too early to call, but if the Academy keeps the 10 nominations, I wouldn't be too surprised if to see The Ghost Writer among them next year. Roman Polanski's thriller based on the novel is very well executed.

Ewan McGregor plays a man simply known as The Ghost, often asked to help re-write autobiographies.  His latest assignment is a doozy.  He is helping Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), a recently resigned Prime Minister of England, finish his memoirs. Lang is under constant media attention as he is under investigation for possible involvement in war crimes committed in the Iraq war.

Not too long into the assignment the Ghost learns that he is at least the fifth writer asked to help out on this book, and that the last writer to attempt this task committed suicide.  The Ghost's discovery of photos and papers left by his predecessor leads him to believe there is more to the story than meets the eye.

To tell much more would be a disservice.  The beauty of the film lies in how well it is crafted; it unravels slowly but is done so that it puts us at the edge of our seat. We are trying to figure out the story as much as The Ghost is. It seems like Polanski drew upon some of his own personal life on this film, perhaps he feels like the Lang character, constantly being watched in the media and running from crimes he committed.

There are good performances in this film all around, especially the supporting work from Tom Wilkinson (he is always good in pretty much all he does in my opinion [mine too! TW]) and Olivia Williams, who plays Lang's mysterious wife. The film features some well done cinematography as well as a nice score from Alexandre Desplat.

Easily one of the best films of 2010 so far!!

****/**** 4 out of 4

Michael Wendt is a Cleveland-based Actor, Producer, and Director.  His recent works include the documentary The End of the World As We Knew It which has played at several Film Festivals, as well as acting in the romantic comedy The Bride & The Grooms which had a limited release around the country last year. When not working on film projects, you can probably find him frequenting the movie theater or hitting a karaoke bar!


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