The Ghost Writer
   Director: Roman Polanski, Summit Entertainment, Rated MA, 128 mins

In 2002 one of the world’s most controversial and renowned filmmakers, Roman Polanski received the Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival for his award winning movie The Pianist (as well as an Academy Award for Best Director).
   After an absence of a few years Polanski returns with his superbly directed mystery thriller The Ghost Writer.
   The title of the movie is adapted from conspiracy novelist Robert Harris who also co-wrote the screenplay in collaboration with Polanski, and stars Ewan McGregor (Angels and Demons) as the main character (without a name) hired to rewrite the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister, Adam Lang (supposedly Tony Blair) who is played by former Bond actor Pierce Brosnan.
   McGregor – referring to himself as “The Ghost” - is flown to Lang’s special retreat to undertake his assignment where he is met by Lang’s attractive secretary (and mistress) Amelia (Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City).
   The Ghost soon discovers that not everything is what it seems - including some photos belonging to the previous ghost-writer, whose mysterious death is still unaccounted for.
   As the ghost writer pursues further clues, he uncovers possibilities for conspiracy theories until the dramatic conclusion which may not have been anticipated but which suggests that his assignment may have been part of a wider conspiracy.
   Besides infusing the right amount of atmospherics and suspense into his stylised storyline, Polanski has also included a number of gifted actors to appear briefly to play a number of characters such as James Belushi as John Maddox, Timothy Hutton as Sidney Kroll, Eli Wallach as the old man, and Tom Wilkinson as Paul Emmett.
   In addition to some fine performances from McGregor as the ghost writer and Brosnan as the British politician, it is Olivia Williams who steals the limelight as Lang’s secretive and seductive wife Ruth.
   Polanski has lost none of his touch as the master director of the mystery thriller genre and it is no surprise that his latest movie collected the Silver Berlin Bear Award at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival.
VIC'S VERDICT:       4 Rubber Stamps

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