Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
Love him or hate him its hard not to admit that Roman Polanski has talent. Most to all of his films pack visionary style, great symbolism, a deep message and an interesting story. Personal life aside this man is a genius. So it would probably come to nobodies surprise that I was excited for his latest film The Ghost (with Writer added at the end in the US).
The Ghost is the adaptation of Robert Harris' book "The Ghost," a controversial book which talked about the darker side or former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, under a different name of course. The story goes that a nameless ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) is given the assignment to finish the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang. He accepts but is wary because the previous ghost writer died in a mysterious accident. Things seem to go alright though until Lang is accused of a war crime. The Ghost gets suspicious and starts looking for clues that might prove that Lang really HAS committed a war crime and is linked to the CIA.
From beginning to end this is a thrilling picture. The plot moves at a breakneck pace and really once the film has gripped you, it does not let go. It may not pack the bang of some of Polanski's other works, but his style and flair and attention to detail are definitely noticeable. His experience shines through and makes this a film that is thrilling AND fun to watch.
And that is only accentuated by the great acting across the board. Ewan is great in his role as the unnamed Ghost. His calm and collected but real as well. You sense his fear, his longing to know the truth and his determination to find it. Ewan gives probably one of his best performances I've seen. I will say though that Pierce Brosnan as Adam Lang is brilliant. He's smart, cunning, devious and he has a sort of calm insanity in him a la Hannibal. Brosnan really brings the swagger and charisma that the character needed and he really shines in this picture as well. Other performances from Tom Wilkinson and Timothy Hutton are quite good as well. The females do a good job but are definitely outshined by the two strong leads in the film.
Overall Ghost Writer is a great thriller with brilliant writing, directing and acting all across the board. Maybe not Polanski's best but still a great film nevertheless.
MY VERDICT: OWN IT