Although The Ghost Writer opened in New York and Los Angeles on February 19, it is just getting a wide release this weekend. This political thriller, which earned Roman Polanski best director honors at the Berlin Film Festival and is currently polling an impressive 83% at Rotten Tomatoes, follows a replacement ghost writer (Ewan McGregor), whose predecessor died under suspicious circumstances. His job of helping a retired British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan) with his memoirs is further complicated by the dangerous secrets that keep leaking out between the lines.
In conjunction with the wider release, we have a new set of clips which underline the growing tensions at the island mansion where the prime minister and his entourage are sequestered, as it begins to dawn on the ghost just how far in over his head he has gotten. Posted 03.05.10 by reelz
In Roman Polanski's political thriller The Ghost Writer, Pierce Brosnan plays a former British Prime Minister who is writing his memoirs amid growing controversy over possible war crimes committed while he was in office. It's a role that has more than a passing similarity to the situation of the real former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. In fact, Robert Harris, who wrote the book on which the movie is based, has hardly been coy about just how intentional those parallels are.
Nonetheless, in an interview with UGO, Pierce Brosnan tried to put a little distance between his performance as Prime Minister Lang and the man who inspired the role.
Roman and I established right off the bat that this wasn't going to be Tony Blair. I read the book and I knew what was put down, but I wanted to make sure we didn't go down that road and we didn't discuss it ever again. It's a man who is an actor playing a Prime Minister, basically.... A man who knows his life is over as he knows it. A sham of a man holding on to a thread, and he has no qualms asking what to do in the company of lawyers or anyone. But he can still make speeches with an oratorical voice.
Fair enough. Brosnan doesn't try to assume Blair's personality for the role. But in other interviews he's intimated that the situational similarities were always fairly near the surface, and perhaps something more as well.
Earlier, Brosnan confessed to the LA Times that his decision to play the Prime Minister as "a tragic, lost, broken man" was in part inspired by some photographs of Blair that the director had shared with him, including one in which he had, as Brosnan puts it, a "clenched-teeth, chipmunk-style, little-boy-lost-in-the-woods, 'I didn't do it, I didn't do it'" expression on his face. Posted 02.18.10 by reelz
The Ghost Writer had its world debut at the Berlin International Film Festival this weekend to much acclaim but with more than a fair share of irony. A reviewer from the Guardian went so far as to call it "the most purely enjoyable picture for years, a Hitchcockian nightmare with a persistent, stomach-turning sense of disquiet, brought off with confidence and dash."
But because he is still under house arrest in Switzerland awaiting the outcome of his very long-running extradition battle, director Roman Polanski could not attend the premiere. It's an awkward position that is to some extent reflected in his movie as well.
As an article in the LA Times points out, the former British Prime Minister in The Ghost Writer, Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), is living in exile in the U.S. to avoid being sued at home for his alleged complicity in illegal mistreatment of prisoners during the War on Terror. Clearly, the precariousness of this kind of ex-pat existence is something that Polanski, himself, has had a lot of time to think about lately.
The movie has also turned out to be very timely in relation to British politics. The real former PM on which Lang is very obviously based, Tony Blair, was in fact forced to take the stand in recent weeks to explain controversial actions he took during the Iraq war. Talk about foreshadowing.
The PR campaign for The Ghost Writer appears to be making some to leverage this latter connection. The latest TV spot for the movie is definitely putting the political intrigue front and center. Posted 02.15.10 by reelz
"It was the book that killed him." Or so Ewan McGregor is told early on in the latest trailer for Roman Polanski's political thriller The Ghost Writer. McGregor plays the unnamed replacement "ghost," as he puts it, who has been hired to help a retired British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan) write his memoirs after the first ghost writer dies under mysterious circumstances.
Indeed, from what we can see here, words are what gets everyone into trouble. The memoirs the former PM is writing appear to contain secrets that could destroy him, secrets also likely linked to the untimely death of the first ghost. McGregor too, who starts off professing to know nothing about politics, soon finds that being a ghost is far more complicit than he realizes. As the secrets threaten to spill out to the public, an aide (Kim Cattrall) blandly informs him: "You're the writer. That makes you an accomplice." Posted 01.29.10 by reelz
Still under house arrest in Switzerland, director Roman Polanski has managed to complete what looks, to some critics who've had a sneak peek, to be a pretty well-crafted suspense flick, The Ghost Writer.
The suspense isn't over for the director though. On Friday, a U.S. federal judge denied Polanski's bid to avoid a U.S. court appearance. His attorneys had been pushing to have him sentenced in absentia on three-decade-old charges of "unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor," and to have the penalty reduced to time served. The judge would have none of that though, insisting the director appear in a U.S. court to face the charges. Unsurprisingly, Polanski plans to appeal the ruling.
Meanwhile, Polanski's wife, actress Emmanuelle Seigner, has told Elle that next up for director is an adaptation of Yasmina Reza's Tony-award winning play God of Carnage. This black comedy, which seems very much up Polanski's alley, begins with an argument between children from two families. It then gets taken up by their parents and eventually spirals out into an exploration of all sorts of controversial topics.
Whether or not Polanski will be free to work on this latest project any time soon remains to be seen. Posted 01.23.10 by reelz
Delayed a bit by the director's own headline-grabbing legal difficulties, the first full trailer is now out for Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer. The movie is adapted from the Robert Harris political thriller about a writer (Ewan McGregor) hired to help a former British Prime Minister (played by Pierce Brosnan and clearly modeled on Tony Blair) with his memoirs. The previous ghost writer died under mysterious circumstances, and intrigue swirls as the new ghost stumbles onto some potentially damaging secrets about the PM's connection to torture and the CIA.
The movie has secured a limited release in theaters on February 19. As for the director, prospects are still not so clear. Posted 01.14.10 by reelz