THE GHOST WRITER
The very best movies are the ones that surprise you, and the best entertainment is the kind that you didn’t expect to enjoy. The Ghost Writer is a one-two punch in both regards. I had never even heard of this movie until perusing the list of Redbox offerings, and since Ewan McGregor always enchants me, I looked up the trailer and was pleasantly surprised. McGregor is the title character, hired to ghost the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister played beautifully by Pierce Brosnan. McGregor is brought in to replace another writer who just committed suicide but whose death seems a bit suspicious. And thus, the film is a mystery as to (a) the truth of the first writer’s death and (b) a secret that he discovered which may or may not have led to his death. At first the movie seems to be a simple story of getting to the truth of the politician’s past, but as it progresses there are layers upon layers of questions and suspicions and mystery. It’s a thriller that builds slowly but steadily and engaged me more and more throughout the story. Though the source material (a novel by Robert Harris) is said to be rich and complex, all credit for the movie must go to McGregor for being able to draw the viewer in with seemingly minimal effort, and to director Roman Polanski, who made the film hauntingly beautiful. The setting of a remote island off the coast of Massachusetts is exquisite but somber, and this lends itself to the movie’s tone in countless ways. Right up until the very last moment, The Ghost Writer is an unexpected treasure that I just can’t recommend enough.
image from Rotten Tomatoes and linked to source