Roman Polanski’s new film, The Ghost Writer is a really good movie with a really bad ending. I may be alone in this opinion as the critics seem to be prostrating themselves over it. Starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams, and Kim Cattrall to name a few, the movie winds around and around the concept of one man (Ewan McGregor) who gets hired to write another man’s memoirs (ex-British Prime Minister, Pierce Brosnan). Only thing is, he’s not the first Ghost Writer. The first one ended up dead.
As soon as the movie starts, you know you’re going to be on the edge of your seat. Filmed mostly in a cold and wintry Martha’s Vineyard (which was really someplace in Germany that they made to look like the Vineyard – locals and repeated visitors to the island will have difficulty pinpointing favorite landmarks) the movie is wet and gray and blustery. There’s no way you’ve bought a ticket for a romantic comedy. But Polanski does the same stellar job as he did with Chinatown and other pre-statutory rape mysteries, he weaves a complex and yet simple story that seems absolutely true. This isn’t a movie, it’s an expose, a real-life story that’s just being retold on camera. Until the end that is, which as you know I have major problems with.
Anyway, I’m not sure what Roman Polanksi is up to in his house arrest in Switzerland, but it seems he’s somehow despite the drama (or perhaps because of it), created a wonderful suspense thriller. I give it two thumbs and some goosebumps up.