For the next review for this month’s Genre Grandeur – British Thrillers, here’s a review from Sherise of The Girl That Loved to Review of the British Thriller – Ghost Writer (2010)
Thanks again to Emma from Emmakwall.com for choosing this month’s genre
Next month’s Genre, chosen by Justine of Justine’s movie blog is Coming of Age movies. To participate, send me your review to firstname.lastname@example.org by 22nd Feb. Thanks to Justine for a great choice.
Let’s see what Sherise thought of this movie…
The Ghost Writer (2010)
When picking a British Thriller to review for this month’s Genre Grandeur a few different films came to my mind. But I chose Roman Polanski’s political thriller because I think it’s a very good film that was largely ignored when it was released in 2010. Polanski may not be British and the film largely takes place in the United States. But the cast, the plot, and the author of the novel the film is based on are all very British. The film follows a ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) tasked with completing the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan). Political intrigue and suspense ensues.
The Ghost Writer (or apparently it’s now called The Ghost?) is a slow burn. But if you stay with the film I think it pays off in a great, intriguing way. The first time I saw this film I thought it would be boring. But I was drawn into the story by a number of different factors. First of all, the cast is phenomenal. Every single actor is great. Ewan McGregor (the Ghost) has this quirky charm that makes him likeable and injects some dark humor into the film. Pierce Brosnan is excellent as Adam Lang (based on former British PM Tony Blair). Olivia Williams is my favorite in this film. She shows a lot of range as Ruth Lang. Ruth is vulnerable, strong, intelligent, manipulative the true extent of which isn’t revealed until the very end. My other favorite, he steals the scene in every movie he is in, is Tom Wilkinson as Paul Emmett. He is charismatic, has a wonderful voice, and manages to be subtly menacing. Once tom comes into the film the plot picks up pace and becomes quite exciting and dangerous.
I enjoy The Ghost Writer partly because I think it would be a neat job (although it is treated with derision in the film). I also really enjoy politics. This film really interests me because it deals with current (while as of 2010) politics. The intrigues in the film feel as though they could plausibly occur in the real world (at least to me). The Ghost Writer is a smart film that makes me wonder what really goes on behind the scenes of international politics.
Roman Polanski has done a great job of creating an intriguing political thriller with his usual techniques. But it is one of his more subtle films. The score is quirky and unique, but not overbearing. Dark Polanski-esque humor is evident throughout. Olivia Williams wears red (the woman always wears red!). And there is the ever present pessimistic, fatalistic view point of the world we live in.
The Ghost Writer is a real treat for anyone who enjoys intelligent political thrillers. I think it is Polanski’s strongest film since The Pianist. 8.5/10
The Ghost Writer also has one of my favorite scenes (that one long shot!) right at the end. Warning: major spoilers in the video (starting at 1:30).
Thanks again to Sherise for this great review!