2017-02-17

20170217: Drama Review--The Ghost Writer





Name: The Ghost Writer (2010)
IMDb: link to The Ghost Writer

Genres: Action.   Country of origin: USA.

Cast:
Olivia Williams as Ruth Lang, Pierce Brosnan as Adam Lang, Ewan McGregor as The Ghost, Tom Wilkinson as Paul Emmitt, Eli Wallach as Old Man, Cattrall as Amelia Bly, Jon Bernthal as Rik Ricardelli, Jim Belushi as John Maddox, Robert Pugh as Richard Rycart.

Directed by: Roman Polanski.  Written by: Robert Harris, Roman Polanski.
Olivia Williams as Ruth Lang

The Three Acts:

The initial tableaux:
1. Adam Lang, the former Prime Minister of the UK, had a biography commissioned.  The writer was quite far into the project when he died suddenly.

2. The Ghost is a ghostwriter but not a star writer.  He is interviewed to take up completing the manuscript.  His interview shows his moxie, his cleverness, and his unwillingness to give up looking for truth.  It's a fine Roman Polanski beginning.

3. Adam Lang is at one of his retreats, an island off the east coast of the United States, during his time with The Ghost.  Security is rather tight, and restrictions abound.

Delineation of conflicts:
The Ghost wants to finish the book and show the truth about Lang's career.  To do this, he investigates how his predecessor died.  However, Lang's camp is secretive which slows things down.  To make things even more interesting, legal proceedings start in the UK against Lang for consequences of wartime decisions.  The press descend on the island, as does the father of a soldier killed as a result of Lang's policies.  As the chaos rises, The Ghost finds more and more material about Lang's history.  Not everybody is happy about his efforts.

Resolution: Harsh, definitive.  The Ghost's pursuit of truth is his undoing.
Pierce Brosnan as Adam Lang; Ewan McGregor as The Ghost

One line summary:
1. A reluctant writer contracts to ghost the autobiography of a slimy politician.
or
2. Ghostwriter finds more truth than is good for him.
Decisions, decisions.

Statistics:


Cinematography: 10/10 Amazing, gorgeous.

Sound: 10/10 Excellent, whether catching the mood of the sea, or the sense of danger that situations bring.

Acting: 10/10 The direction and performances made this film.  I don't always like Ewan McGregor, but when he is good, he's really good.  This was one of Pierce Brosnan's better performances.  Olivia Williams was wonderful, as were Tom Wilkinson and Robert Pugh in limited roles.

Screenplay: 10/10 Good writing well executed under Polanski's direction.

Final rating: 10/10 This is a new entry in my list of favourite movies.