Movie Review: The Ghost Writer

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Written By: Robert Harris (novel, screenplay), Roman Polanski (screenplay)
R.P. Films, 2010
PG-13; 128 minutes
4 stars (out of 5)


I had been meaning to see this one for a while. The premise wasn't all that catchy: a ghost writer is hired to spruce of the memoirs of an ex-Prime Minister of Great Britain. But all the reviews I read were remarkably good, and I usually enjoy Ewan McGregor, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. And I'm glad I did. As my husband pointed out, they don't really make suspense movies like The Ghost Writer any more. There's something very old school about it; maybe it has to do with Polanski and Harris, who are themselves somewhat old guard. But the tone of the film, the lighting and such, is all very well done. Never mind that I had it more or less sorted out at the halfway mark; it was still enjoyable to watch play out.

The Ghost Writer isn't perfect. It has the distinct feeling of having been cut down from something fattier (the novel, one supposes). Sometimes that's good, but in this case one almost wants the added flavor of the fat, metaphorically speaking. I was left satisfied but still thinking a few deeper insights into the characters might have been nice. In the end it only serves to whet my appetite for the novel, which I hadn't ever considered reading, but now I might, if only to feel like I got a full meal.

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