Read the Variety review
In the 30 years since “Tess,” nobody thought Roman Polanski had a chance at being in the Oscar race, and then he made a movie called “The Pianist” that came darn close to sweeping the Oscars. Now, the controversial director has come up with a critically respected commercial hit in “The Ghost Writer,” a thinking man’s thriller that leads the European Film Awards race with seven nominations. The indie hit bowed in Berlin and went on to make some $15 million at the U.S. box office for Summit and another $44 million overseas.
Richard Harris’ economical adaptation (written with Polanksi) of his novel “The Ghost” immediately plunges filmgoers into a paranoid — but not too paranoid — realm of ex-world leaders that Polanski’s subtle camera exploits till audiences are as terrified as Ewan McGregor’s title character. The production design underscores the coldness and inhumanity of a world in which spies perform their manipulations.
Polanski, who completed the film while stuck in Switzerland, also draws a complex performance from Pierce Brosnan as the former U.K. PM, while McGregor nails the world-weary writer who uncovers the truth. But it’s Olivia Williams who’s most likely to draw acting mentions for her seductive Lady Macbeth turn as the politician’s ruthless wife.
on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more