Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Ghost Writer - Movie Review

The Ghost Writer is an odd movie with big name stars and all the trappings of a well-made thriller that finally amount to, well, nothing really. A ghost writer is hired to help a former British Prime Minister write his memoirs after the previous Ghost has met an untimely and mysterious end. Go!

Written by lefty and talented writer Robert Harris (brother-in-law to one of my favorite writers, Bruce Hornby), the movie hits all the left-wing talking points about the war on terror. How horrible it is that terrorists are questioned intently enough to spill valuable information. The main character, a thinly disguised Tony Blair of sorts, gives his approval to such awfulness and so, of course, must be evil but he does make a good point: if he had his way, he'd have two lines at airports, one that led to plane checked out based on information obtained from terrorists and the other not. Which would you put your children on? The Ghost doesn't answer.

It all comes down to some vague CIA machinations and if the true got out, it would be unmitigated disaster and so people must die. If only the CIA were so effective. Without the killing people part, I mean.

As I said, the movie sports some big name stars - you mean Eli Wallach is still alive? - who probably clamored over themselves to work with the pervert and rapist Roman Polanski who directs, I grudgingly admit, with a sure hand. Strangely, I actually enjoyed this movie, despite the many reasons not to. At least it was earnest in its wrong-headedness, and skillful, and those are traits to be admired. And we only spent a buck on it at Redbox so I can enjoy a small sense of smugness.

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