Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Ghostwriter

Would you accept a position to ghostwrite the memoirs of a former Prime Minister of Britain?

What if he had just been accused of horrendous war crimes?

What if they offered you $250,000 to do the memoir?

What if the last ghostwriter had just be found dead on a beach in Martha's Vineyard... supposedly a suicide?

Ewan McGregor (no character name ever given) finds himself wrapped up in mystery and intrigue, caught between the charismatic Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnen), his smart and tough-as-nails yet simply amazing wife (Olivia Williams) and a world rising up in furious protest.

"The Ghostwriter" is a subtle yet gripping conspiracy film. It's tone is more indie than Hollywood, and quiet rather than action packed. Yet the somber tone is compelling and makes this tale a must for any serious watcher of films.

I was attracted to the story by a trailer attached to "Remember Me", another recent release by Summit Entertainment which I also highly enjoyed. Of course, who could possibly resist the duo of Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnen? Olivia Williams is just the delicious icing on top. All of the actors are at their best, and it is simply wonderful to see McGregor take center stage - and as a human with proper emotions (sorry Obi-Wan!).

It is rated PG-13, but apart from some bits of brief strong language and one dimly lit glimpse of male-backside, and two brief (but non explicit) hints at affairs, it is strangely tame and appropriate for a film of this rating and subject matter.

It'll also keep you guessing. I watched this with a good friend of mine and we kept a running commentary going. Although we did guess part of one of the three main twists, two of them completely threw us.

I'd recommend this film for 16+. Mature younger teens who are interested in politics and writing and can handle the language and themes could possibly watch it with their parents, but for the most part it'll be better enjoyed by the older crowd.

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