Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Movie Review: The Ghost Writer

I couldn't find a picture without food.
It started out with a phone call:
-Hey Libby, you wanna watch Ghost Rider
-Absolutely not.
-Why Not?
-Well. There are two reasons: Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendez.
-What? No. Ghost WRITER.
-Oh… okay… what’s that about?

Based on the novel, The Ghost, by Robert Harris, the story follows The Ghost (Ewan McGregor) as he replaces the previous ghost writer of ex-British Prime Minister, Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), who died in an “accident” while working on Lang’s memoirs.  As the writer starts working with Lang, Lang is accused of heinous war crimes causing McGregor to wonder what his agent has gotten him into. Stomach full of sandwiches (more on that later) and suspicion, McGregor begins to investigate the truth of the stories he, himself, is writing.

Pros: The screenplay for this film was written by Robert Harris and Roman Polanski working in tandem, thus creating a very cohesive style that could be described in one word: Hitchcock. The pairing of a simple color scheme and complex textures makes each scene massively aesthetically pleasing (Ewan McGregor helps, as well). The score by Alexandre Desplat, which borrows a few chords and trills from Psycho, helps strengthen the audience’s interest in some of the slower moments.

Cons: The slower moments. In an effort to make this movie as Hitchcocky as possible, the scenes and details unfold slowly. For most of the movie this works well but at other times it becomes forced. For example: During this movie, McGregor eats 3 club sandwiches and 2 bowls of chowder, drinks 7 alcoholic beverages, takes 2 baths and 2.5 ferry rides. This was meant both for humor and for style but causes it to drag. I think Brosnan’s character sums it up best saying, “I think you’ve had one too many of those.”
You can't still be hungry...
Watch it: if you have some patience and think that Ewan McGregor is super fly.

Don’t watch it: if you don’t like Hitchcock or a good sandwich (in which case there might be something wrong with your brain).

Overall YAMB Rating: Like


  1. I agree pretty much completely with you - you really have to be able to wait out the more boring parts, but if you do, I thought it was well worth it. It was, as you said, very Hitchcock-like.

    Also - Ewan McGregor IS super fly awesome, and I'm glad you mentioned it.

  2. i can't believe you thought i would suggest Ghost Rider.

  3. Hey guys...
    Maria and I had this thought
    Ewan McGregor as Aurthur Dent in
    "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: Version we actually like"

  4. Libby-
    1. I love the word "Hitchcocky."
    2. I love your Hitchiker's Guide remake concept even more. I call a cameo when you take up a career in film and start this project.

  5. Two thumbs preposterously far up to Ewan in HHGttG. Although any version of the film without Alan Rickman as Snape or Zooey Deschanel in any role will be infinitely inferior to my delicate tastes.

  6. This sounds like a great movie, yet when I do, I will go into it a bit cynical after reading this review-


    They kinda panned it, so I'm not sure what to think. (although I'm inclined to lean towards YAMB, I'm kinda biased that way =P)


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