Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moofies - The Ghost Writer (2010)

EXPECTATIONS: Polanski films have a certain traditional style of storytelling to them, which is not necessarily surprising but is always solid and well structured. The Ghost Writer doesn't sound like the most thrilling of tales, but I expect a well structured film none-the-less.

On a side note, I find it odd that Polanski escapes imprisonment for raping a 13 year old girl by going overseas, and yet actors still clamber to work with him. Maybe he's innocent, I don't know the guy, but it's still a pretty strange situation.

REALITY: It's pretty hard to fault this film.

Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan) is an ex-Prime Minister of England, with overt similarities to Tony Blair. When his the body of his assistant is found mysteriously washed up on the beach, a new ghost writer is needed to finish Lang's memoirs. The Ghost (Ewan McGregor, whose character is never named) is hired to complete the writing task. While working on the book, Lang is attacked in the media for his treatment of two possible terrorists while he was PM, and the Ghost becomes embroiled in a web of mystery.

What could have been a boring talk-fest is actually a really engaging film. Everything from the house on the beach that the film is set, to the performances, to the eery soundtrack, all come together to make a thrilling and edge of your seat experience; I think comparisons could easily be made to Hitchcock. There are also surprising moments of quirky but real humour throughout.

McGregor seems to play similar characters in most of his films, the likable-middle-of-the-road-guy-who-is-a-bit-of-a-cheeky-trouble-maker-who-makes-mistakes-but-still-tries-to-do-the-right-thing, but he's really great at it; Brosnan is fantastic in this as the powerful lusty minister with a private and public persona; Olivia "Adelle/Dr.Moira" Williams is fantastic as Lang's wife; even Kim Cattrall gives a good performance. This is solid stuff.

There are a few unlikely events that take away from the film a little, but it's still a great watch that is disarmingly gripping.


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