Ghost Writer - Roman Polański, Ewan McGregor, anti-US rhetoric and a lot of sarcasm


The Ghost Writer (France/Germany/UK, 2010)

Seen: Monday, 1st March 2010 (cinema)
Runtime: 128′
Director: Roman Polański
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson
Production House: RP Films, France 2 Cinéma, Elfte Babelsberg Film, Runteam, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg
Plot: (from imdb)

A ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.


Rating: +1 (Liked it)

Impressions In Short
IMO the best thing about this film is the sarcasm. Well that and Ewan McGregor (who delivers most of the sarcasm ;)). I got a lot of laughs out of it and for once most of the cinema seemed to get the joke too *grin*

More About the Film
In some ways it’s a slightly dated film. The way it’s narrated, shot and put together has a very classic sort of feel. It’s different to how today’s films are made. And even the way modern technology was used in it… While google, mobile phones and GPS systems play quite a big part in the film, I felt the treatment of today’s technology was somehow different - less natural than in most films one watches nowadays.
But aside from that, it’s beautifully made with a lot of attention to detail.
When it comes to acting, I always feel that Polański style suits some actors perfectly, but not others. Ewan McGregor is clearly one of those who thrive under his direction. It’s a great performance and he’s a large part of why the film works so well. There’s a warmth about him which pulls you in and keeps you involved in what happens to his character. On the other hand, for those who completely don’t get Ewan’s charm, this film might be tough going - if you’re not involved in what happens to the main protagonist then the whole thriller aspect of the film goes out of the window.
In a way this film is Polański’s personal vendetta against the US. While I’m not usually into conspiracy theories, I’m actually wondering whether Polański’s recent house arrest is in any way connected to the film. It really does criticize US policy very sharply.
There’s a scene in Ghost Writer in which the ex-prime minister is advised to stay within the USA because the USA has not ratified the Rome Statute and therefore as long as he stays within its borders he cannot by prosecuted for war crimes by the International Crime Court. The ex-prime minister then asks what other countries have not ratified the statute. The lawyers start listing them with obvious consternation - North Korea, Sudan, Iraq, China… *grin* The scene got quite a loud snort of laughter from the audience. It was one of many sarcastic jabs at the US.

Yes, I think. In particular it’s a great film for Ewan McGregor fans.
However, if you’re not into sarcasm and don’t like Ewan McGregor then a lot of the film’s appeal will probably be lost on you. Obviously, political preferences may come into play too - if you’re not comfortable with criticism of US (and British) policies then you’re unlikely to enjoy it.

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