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The Ghost Writer (2010)
Polanski and McGregor, a wonderful match
Ewan McGregor gets rid of every ounce of glamour and allows his Polanskian character to emerge. I though, a few years ago, Polanski could have played him himself the way he played so beautifully in "The Tenant" Those two characters are not that far apart. Taking over an apartment or a job from someone who leaves the scene under very mysterious circumstances is practically the same thing. McGregor, however, is superb. In "The Ghost Writer" events play close to the knuckle. Who is Pierce Brosnan? Tony Blair? and Olivia Williams? Classic film-making at its best. Compelling and visually stunning. The score by Alexander Desplat reminded me of Bernard Herrman and the atmosphere is so thick that the film's 2 hours plus fly by at an amazing speed. Polanski at 77 doesn't show any signs of jadedness. He is in total control. Hurrah for that!
Shutter Island (2010)
The Eye Of The Master
Yes, Scorsese's eye is all over "Shutter Island" what I din't feel was his gut. And for me a Scorsese film bears his gut. From "Mean Streets" to "The Age Of Innocence", "The King Of Comedy", "New York, New York" The presence of his gut, his poetic gut, his Scorsese gut, made those experiences, emotional and timeless. "Shutter Island" is extraordinary to look at. It has some bravura shots that will take your breath away. It's no uniquely Scorsesian like, "Raging Bull" "Casino" or "Goodfellas" It doesn't have the energy and passion of "Taxi Driver" or the commitment of "Bringing Out The Dead", "The Last Temptation Of Christ" or "Gangs of New York", doesn't have the freshness of "After Hours", "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" Doesn't have the scope or ambition of neither "The Aviator" nor "The Departed" but I liked it very much.
Ghost Town (2008)
Death Becomes Him
A true delight. Ghost Town is David Koepp's most original script since Death Becomes Her and Death Becomes Her is one of my favorite comedies of all time. Daring, hilarious and elegant. Ghost Town is set in a more recognizable world, recognizable from many different angles, at times it feels we've seen all this before but what sets it apart is its heart. There is real heart here and a real intention. Ricky Gervais is fantastic as the "no people person" his unlikeable persona becomes the most likable aspect of the movie. I was taken by Gervais's predicament and I was never allowed to slip away. I was entertained and delighted throughout. 8/10
The Women (2008)
To say I was disappointed is an understatement. An amateur film made by professionals. I was about to leave the theater in two or three occasions (something I've never done)I was stopped by Cloris Leachman really. She rings true, the only one I should say. This new women are less modern than the George Cukor women of the 30's. This ones are "acting" for us trying to be with it but their "conflict" is exactly the same as it has always been, in movies anyway. The fun of the original was based on a crisp, vitriolic and very funny script. A masterful direction and an unrepeatable cast. All the elements that are missing here. TV actresses mingling with models and Oscar nominees/winners. There wasn't anything organic about it. The whole thing felt like a put on, improvised in the moment without a clear objective. 2/10