The simple task of assisting a former British Prime Minister in his memoirs puts a ghostwriter’s safety at risk, after he uncovers some damaging secrets about the political relationship between the United Kingdom and United States.
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Polanski's return to form generates an exemplar of understated suspense in a film of political acumen, in light of the UK/US 51st state politics. How elite groups featuring academics and 'fixers' solve problems is conveyed in a masterly way when Polanski substitutes action for mood rendering a ferry or an automobile a platform for digging into the conspiracy. Experly acted by all it entertains, engages and provokes.
A master on cruise control. Effortless storytelling with Polanski's trademark visual imprint (mood, atmosphere). GHOST WRITER is the kind of film Hitchcock made (over and over again). But somewhere down the line, this type of thriller became "cliched". Polanski and co-writer Robert Harris rejig the formula with political intrigue plus a poetic, cynical ending. Desplat's score is propulsive, tense and just beautiful.
A sort-of remake of his own The Ninth Gate, with the supernatural being replaced by the vaguely political. Usual concerns reoccur, from the well-meaning protagonist manipulated into embracing his own downfall, to shadowy conspiracies, murder and intrigue, and a final shot that plays more like a perverse joke than any kind of conventional closure. The beach-scenes invoke the tragic spirits of Cul-de-sac and Macbeth.
Sea, sex and rain for Ewan McGregor in this dark thriller one may classify between CUL-DE-SAC and FRANTIC in the filmography of Roman Polanski. It's not great but it is nevertheless far more interesting than the productions presented by the big studios nowadays. Recommended.
A study in blue. Efficient and generally engrossing thriller, classically structured and typical of Polanski's detached eye. The use of space and framing is especially effective, although rarely anything other than in grey-blue filters. If only more commercial cinema was this economical and stylishly spare.
A well-directed, intelligent political thriller with witty subtext and a memorable sense of atmosphere. Though carrying Polanski's usual undercurrents of misogyny and anti-americanism, it is a strong and thoughtful work--definitely deserving a viewing.