The Ghost Writer—Movie

Directed by Roman Polanski and written by Robert Harris, based on his novel, The Ghost Writer tries very hard to thrill, but somehow fails.

Overly long, the film has a very familiar feel, like we’ve seen it before. The Ghost Writer is the story of British writer (Ewan McGregor) who comes to New England to work with and help complete the memoirs of the former U.K. prime minister (Pierce Brosnan). He’s replacing the initial ghostwriter who has died under somewhat mysterious circumstances while working on the book. Gradually this new writer begins to unravel that mystery and the ties the death may or may not have to the prime minister.

The movie has one thing going for it and that is the acting of Ewan McGregor. McGregor is extremely good as the reluctant ghostwriter/mystery solver. He brings an air of cynicism and good humor to his role that feels very natural and just works.

The Ghost Writer also features Tom Wilkinson as a colleague of the prime minister and Olivia Williams as the prime minister’s wife. There is also some stunt casting with Kim Cattrall as the prime minister’s secretary… and possibly more (with an English accent…why, pray tell…), a nearly unrecognizable Jim Belushi and a much underused Timothy Hutton. Also look for a terrific cameo from veteran actor Eli Wallach.

The Ghost Writer is not one of Polanksi’s best. You’d be better served dusting off The Pianist and watching a master then at the top of his game.

1  1/2 nuggets out of 4

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