An unremarkable ghost-writer has landed a lucrative contract to redact the memoirs of Adam Lang, the former UK Prime Minister. After dominating British politics for years, Lang has retired with his wife to the USA. He lives on an island, in luxurious, isolated premises complete with a security detail and a secretarial staff. Soon, Adam Lang gets embroiled in a major scandal with international ramifications that reveals how far he was ready to go in order to nurture UK's "special relationship" with the USA. But before this controversy has started, before even he has closed the deal with the publisher, the ghost-writer gets unmistakable signs that the turgid draft he is tasked to put into shape inexplicably constitutes highly sensitive material. Written by
Eduardo Casais <email@example.com>
In Britain, the film has always been referred to as "The Ghost", the title of Robert Harris' book. Advertising has always called it this. Whenever it is shown on British television, it is always billed under this title. Critics and others always call it by this name, too. However, when the credits of the actual film finally appear (they do not do so until the end), it is clearly titled "The Ghost Writer", its title in the U.S. and other territories. See more »
When the Ghost visits the Rhinehart offices at the beginning to interview for the position, he goes through security and is given a Visitor badge, which he is seen wearing in the meeting, but his agent Rick and the lawyer are clearly not wearing one, even though they are visitors as well. See more »
You realize I know nothing about politics.
You voted for him, didn't you?
Adam Lang? Of course I did, everyone voted for him. He wasn't a politician, he was a craze.
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The credits are written as black-on-white with a typewriter font, like the manuscript shown throughout the movie. See more »
Well-crafted thriller, but some loose ends in the plot
No doubt Roman Polansky knows how to build a gripping movie, with craft and wit, in this case a political thriller, where references to Blair and Bush are no so much explicit, but subtle enough to be perceived somehow. Reviews underlined a style resembling Hitchcock: indeed, the story proceeds, creating suspense, thrill, without appealing to excessive action or shock, although never reaching Hitchcock's subtlety of insight and mystery, both in characters and situations. Mostly, the plot proves some loose ends as the craftily prepared intrigue seems to come to a hasty ending, leading to a finale which does not appear up to the great potential and high expectations of its previous development.
Convincing and well-focused performances by the whole cast, especially by Ewan McGregor who keeps a high-level performance, never abusing his intriguing role, but thoroughly contained, Pierce Brosnan proves good in his part, although his past stereotyped roles make it difficult to see him credible as a former prime minister, Olivia Williams as his wife Ruth delivers a smart and talented performance. Quite interesting are some minor characters, such as the members of the service, or the old man living on the island, who enhance, despite or probably thanks to their more silent presence, the mysterious atmosphere of the story.
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