Tuesday, March 30, 2010

If you LOVED Avatar, chances are you'll hate The Ghost Writer

Roman Polanski's latest movie has no blue people, nothing explodes, the main character isn't a tough guy and the film isn't shot in 3-D. Ewan McGregor is the story's lead, the ghost writer. He doesn't punch anyone. There's no blood. And no fake-o political message either (big corporation - bad, trees - good).

Nope. Thus, The Ghost Writer is destined, like so many quality movies before it, to make very little money, to not pop up on the box office radar and to only impress the adult audiences that take the time to go out and see this old-school thriller.

While also asking some pretty potent political questions, The Ghost Writer is really a great work of suspense. Even the weather gets to you. And yet the movie harkens back to the Hollywood classics, Hitchcock-like, as it manages to mix foreboding with humor. Thrillers in my lifetime haven't usually had too many hardy hars and I forgot how effective a good laugh is when a movie has you all wound up. Better yet is how the movie's very real (character's reaction to a mugging, say) matches up against its rather campy (Kim Cattral's character).

I don't know if you'll like this movie, but I thought it was smart as hell, and the kind of perfectly crafted fun that is so seamless as to be very, very hard to explain the goodness of. I'm not sure I could have said that last sentence more awkwardly. But there you go. Nighty night.


  1. Thank you for the movie recommendation. I used to like Ewan McGregor -- do you think he's good in The Ghost Writer? (I've seen him in Big Fish, Island, Moulin Rouge, Transpotting -- and I heard he's not bad in I Love You Phillip Morris.)

    Now, being "adult audiences" JZ and I try to watch The Ghost Writer, I think.

    We watched a pretty good suspense thriller last night: Tell No One. Have you heard of it? http://allmovie.com/work/tell-no-one-381682

  2. Your blog title -- isn't it a little too dichotomous?

  3. I'd long since bored of Ewan McGregor and thought he was destined for B-moviesville. Teaming up with a world-class, if pedophilic director, however, reminded me of the Ewan McGregor of Trainspotting and Shallow Grave. He's excellent here as a leading man.

    And the title as dichotomous? Dunno. But dichotomous rhymes with hippopotamus.

  4. Anonymous9:37 a.m.

    [testing. please delete this.]

  5. It's not spam or offensive, T. Can't delete it for fear of leaving the reading public itching to know what it was I deleted.

  6. We are adults! We went to watch it! http://tammyholaiming.com/2010/05/03/the-ghost/

  7. 'Nice lil review, bt you shldn't have to criticize 'AVATAR'. it was a good movie even if it was very predictable..

  8. I hve seen only one movie of Roman Polanski and i couldn't complete because electricity went off that day..the film was the famous 'Rose Mary's Baby'..


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Follow mendelsohnjon on Twitter