The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer (2010)

Dir. Roman Polanski

Let’s get this out of the way, so we can move on; there’s no way you can distance the controversy from the film.  Nor should you.  Polanski seems to craft this thriller with a poison tip aimed at the U.S. (not to mention Britain of course), but does so with pure wit and gusto, so as to seemingly one-up any of his detractors.  His jabs at U.S. and Britain politics are not exactly subtle, but they attain a sort of childish exuberance, an ear-to-ear grin that can only be seen as a prankster’s revenge.  This is not to mention the set-piece involving Pierce Brosnan’s shamed Prime Minister Lang, one where he is exiled in an ultra-modern mansion on neutral soil.  Yeah, it’s a real stretch to make that correlation.

However, Polanski was always destined to craft thrillers, and he hasn’t made a film this deliriously entertaining since The Ninth Gate. He infuses the classicism that define his contemporary films with some of the more diabolical tendencies of his 70s films, always letting humor mix evenly with the slow-building tension his films are renowned for.  This is not to say that The Ghost Writer is of the same ilk as Repulsion or even The Tenant, but it’s a delight to see his devious side back a bit, one that seems all the more fitting given the man’s resurgence in the world press.  Plus, he makes both Kim Cattrall and Jim (I’m sorry… “James”) Belushi watchable.  Kudos, Roman.  Kudos.

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~ by febriblog on February 28, 2010.

One Response to “The Ghost Writer”

  1. Dan Zukovic’s “THE LAST BIG THING”, called the “best unknown American film of the 1990’s” in the film book “Defining Moments in Movies” (Editor: Chris Fujiwara), was finally released on DVD by Vanguard Cinema. (www.vanguardcinema.com/thelastbigthing/thelastbigthing) Featuring an important early role by 2011 Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nominee Mark Ruffalo (“Shutter Island”, “Zodiac”, “The Kids Are Alright”), “THE LAST BIG THING” had a US theatrical release in 1998, and gained a cult following over several years of screenings on the Showtime Networks.

    “A distinctly brilliant and original work.” Kevin Thomas – Los Angeles Times
    “A satire whose best moments echo the tone of a Nathanial West novel…Nasty Fun!”
    Stephen Holden – New York Times
    “One of the cleverest recent satires on contemporary Los Angeles…a very funny sleeper!” Michael Wilmington – Chicago Tribune
    “One of the few truly original low budget comedies of recent years.” John Hartl – Seattle Times
    “‘The Last Big Thing’ is freakin’ hilarious! The most important and overlooked
    indie film of the 1990’s. ” Chris Gore – Film Threat

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