Skip It Movie: The Ghost Writer


Ghost Screenwriter, more like

Much has been made about Roman Polanski’s sketchy past and his recent arrest after having evaded US and then international arrest warrants.  I won’t get into the morals or character of Polanksi but I will ask that he stop making films if his latest efforts are more of the same.

The Ghost Writer is supposed to be a film translation of Robert Harris’s The Ghost, a political thriller about a charismatic prime minister exiled and charged with the war crimes whose ghost writer dies mysteriously while penning his story.

That Robert Harris had anything to do with this movie is either a sign of greed or ego on his part.  Doubtless, his book probably contained as thinly veiled illusions to Tony Blair and the Iraq War as the film but did it contain such inappropriate humor as to have a character say:  “He can’t have another ghost writer drown.  You’re not kittens.”

With an anemic story that meanders and characters that never engage you, it’s hard to like anything about this film, even with the always watchable Ewan McGregor quipping occasionally.  “Bad idea,” he tells himself when a compromising situation comes up.  He should have thought of that before indulging in Polanksi’s self-important actor-fest.  There are more great actors and bad roles than one can shake a subpoena at in this film.   The film is listless and silly and if the fire alarm that forced us to hit the pause button and evacuate the building for thirty minutes had happened halfway through, my companion and I would never have returned.  We would’ve turned into ghost watchers and jaunted off to find the Easter Bunny and a latte.

The Ghost Writer is a waste of anyone’s time, even fans of Ewan’s backside and Pierce’s smirk.  Stay away, my friends.  This film doesn’t have a ghost of a chance to entertain you.  Har har.

Pick instead:  Pierce’s oh-so-fine turn as a debonair art thief in The Thomas Crown Affair or Ewan’s turn at the musical writer in Moulin Rouge!

Supporting finery:  Kim Cattrell as Harry Potter’s mum in My Boy Jack, Tom Wilkerson in…well, just about anything else he’s done (except Duplicity), and Olivia Williams in any episode of Dollhouse, where her character Adelle DeWitt makes Ruth Lang look like a girl scout.

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