About Polanski and THE GHOST WRITER
THE GHOST WRITER opens this week at Lamar.
OK, yes, Roman Polanski has done some real bad stuff. Real, real bad.
He's also a superlative master of this thing we call film. If he's not the best around, he's close. He also makes movies for that dying breed - grown-ups. Not perennial post-adolescents, not boring old farts - grown-ups. Literate people with mature priorities, a sense of irony and an appreciation for the finer aspects of film, writing and the other arts.
So, THE GHOST WRITER is not TRON, it's not IRON MAN, OK? What it is is a spectacularly well directed entertainment, something we don't see as often as we'd like to, with note-perfect casting, revelatory performances (Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall), a solid striding pace full of tension, paranoia and perfectly played suspense; and that other thing we don't get as much of as we'd like - if we're honest about it - a great ending.
I feel a little protective of THE GHOST WRITER because a new Polanski film is bound to appear in the middle of a firestorm of controversy and this is an excellent, quietly compelling work - not a tortured man's scream of desperation but an extremely solid, professional political thriller. It's out of step with the tone of the cultural discourse about the man and his sins. We demand fire, he gives us ice.
This movie could never have been made by anyone but Polanski. When an artist reaches 76 years of age, each new work is a gift. We won't have many more Polanski films, the fact that this one is so good is a tender blessing. (Lars)