Roman Polanski may do horrible things in his personal life, but there’s no denying that he has made some pretty good — and chilling — movies. His latest offering, “The Ghost Writer,” looks like it has the potential to be an engaging thriller, assuming audiences can look past their opinions of Polanski the man and go see something by Polanski the artist.
Ewan McGregor, desperately in need of a “good” movie to star in, is a writer hired to put together the memoirs of a former prime minister, played by the never-aging Pierce Brosnan. The gig seems shady from the start, as McGregor is forced to work on a remote island location in a room where the manuscript is never allowed to leave. Then he discovers there was another writer hired first who died either by accident or suicide. Or, you know, maybe it was murder. Who can say?
When the prime minister is accused of war crimes and put under investigation, his ghost writer is naturally the first person the feds turn to, convinced that all the information they need can be found in the memoirs. And that is clearly not going to go over well with the prime minister and his weirdly cryptic staff.
I’ve always like Ewan McGregor, and it would be nice to see Pierce Brosnan playing a sinister role, rather than the charming playboys he’s starting to outgrow (no matter how young he may look). British actress Olivia Williams is the prime minister’s wife, whose cool demeanor could work well for a character who doesn’t want to reveal whose side she’s on.
My one casting concern is Kim Cattrall as an assistant of some kind, who may or may not be using a fake British accent (her acting is so lame it’s hard to tell what exactly she’s going for in the trailer). I assume the idea was that she’d be a bigger draw for American audiences, and I’m somewhat ashamed that European filmmakers think so little of us.
“The Ghost Writer” will have a limited U.S. release on Feb. 19, but apparently opens wide across Europe. So if you’re really determined to see this movie, I hope your passport is still valid.
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