The Ghost Writer

2010-05-24 16:39
 
The Ghost Writer

What it's about:

When a successful British ghost writer, The Ghost, agrees to complete the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang, his agent assures him that it's the opportunity of a lifetime. But the project seems doomed from the start - not least because The Ghost's predecessor on the project, Lang's long-term aide, died in an unfortunate accident.

The Ghost flies out to work on the project, in the middle of winter, to an ocean-front house on an island off the U.S. East coast. But, the day after he arrives, a former British cabinet minister accuses Lang of authorising the illegal seisure of suspected terrorists and handing them over for torture to the CIA – a war crime. The controversy brings reporters and protesters swarming to the island mansion where Lang is staying with his wife, Ruth, and his personal assistant (and mistress), Amelia. As The Ghost works, he begins to uncover clues suggesting that his predecessor may have stumbled on a dark secret linking Lang to the CIA, and that, somehow, this information is hidden in the manuscript he left behind. Was Lang in the service of the American intelligence agency while he was Prime Minister? And was The Ghost's predecessor murdered because of the appalling truth he uncovered?

Resonating with topical themes, this atmospheric and suspenseful political thriller is a story of deceit and betrayal on every level - sexual, political and literary. In a world in which nothing, and no one, is what it seems, The Ghost quickly discovers that the past can be deadly - and that history is decided by whoever stays alive to write it.
 
What the critics said:

"The result is certainly Polanski's best film in years and one can only hope his current legal woes - facing extradition to the US over his 1977 conviction in an underage sex case - don't detract from a thriller that oozes intrigue and Hitchcockian menace."
- David Edwards, Daily Mirror

"The best thing Polanski has done since the seventies, when he brought out the incomparable Chinatown and the very fine Tess."
- David Denby, New Yorker

"Polanski at 76 provides a reminder of directors of the past who were raised on craft, not gimmicks, and depended on a deliberate rhythm of editing rather than mindless quick cutting."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"Mr. Polanski is a magician, his movie a synthesis of Mr. Harris's sturdy narrative, a Mamet-like appreciation for the shadows that lurk between words, and a drollery that most directors wouldn't even think about attaching to a thriller."
- John Anderson, Wall Street Journal


A ghostwriter hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.

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