Screened as part of NZIFF 2010
“A gripping conspiracy thriller and scabrous political satire… as addictive and outrageous as the Robert Harris bestseller on which it’s based. Roman Polanski keeps the narrative engine ticking over with a downbeat but compelling throb. This is his most purely enjoyable picture for years, a Hitchcockian nightmare with a persistent, stomach-turning sense of disquiet, brought off with confidence and dash.
His leads are Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, actors from whom Polanski gets the best by keeping them under control. McGregor is the journo, never named: cynical, boozy and miserable in the classical manner. He makes a living ghostwriting the autobiographies of raddled showbiz veterans… He is astonished to be offered the job of ghost-writing the memoirs of the former British prime minister Adam Lang, now living with his formidable wife Ruth (Olivia Williams) in his American publisher’s palatial beachfront home. A possible war-crime prosecution for assisting the rendition of terror suspects means Lang may never be able to leave American soil. And his last ghostwriter has been found drowned… Could it be that the dead man discovered something dangerous about the ex-PM and his super-powerful, super-rich American friends? Resemblances to Tony and Cherie Blair are very far from coincidental.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Delectably amusing and self-amused… The Ghost Writer seems to be as much about Mr Polanski’s life as, well, that of Tony Blair, which only means that there are amusing points of convergence. Tracing the lines between fact and fiction makes for a dandy parlor game, one that Mr Polanski obviously wants us to play.” — Manohla Dargis, NY Times