To the general public, Roman Polanski may be better known as a child molester than a filmmaker. But regardless of his moral failings, the 76 year old Polanski is a skillful director who still knows how to make a smart, entertaining movie.
In THE GHOST WRITER, Ewan McGregor takes a job as ghost writer for Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), a former British prime mister who's being paid millions for his memoirs.
But there's a big catch: the former politician has been accused of having British terror suspects kidnapped and moved to a country where they were tortured by the C.I.A. (The parallel with former Prime Minister Tony Blair is intended.) And the last ghost writer to work on the project has turned up dead.
"You must be wondering what you let yourself in for?" Lang's wife (Olivia Williams) tells the writer.
She's on edge herself, because she knows that her husband is having an affair with his secretary (Kim Cattrall).
The bottom line here is that Polanski has created a moody psychological thriller that's also smart and entertaining.
McGregor may be the ghost but he's the one who's scared. "I'm in trouble," he admits to a stranger on the telephone. "I think my predecessor was murdered."
Nothing is quite what it seems in THE GHOST WRITER, but what's always evident is the artistry of a talented filmmaker.