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The Ghost Writer (2010)

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A ghost writer, hired to complete the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister, uncovers secrets that put his own life in jeopardy.

Director:

Roman Polanski

Writers:

Robert Harris (screenplay), Roman Polanski (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
2,335 ( 701)
33 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ewan McGregor ... The Ghost
Jon Bernthal ... Rick Ricardelli
Tim Preece Tim Preece ... Roy
Jim Belushi ... John Maddox (as James Belushi)
Timothy Hutton ... Sidney Kroll
Anna Botting Anna Botting ... SKY TV Newsreader
Yvonne Tomlinson Yvonne Tomlinson ... Stewardess
Milton Welsh ... Taxi Driver
Alister Mazzotti ... Protection Officer #1
Tim Faraday ... Barry
Kim Cattrall ... Amelia Bly
Kate Copeland Kate Copeland ... Alice
Soogi Kang Soogi Kang ... Dep
Lee Hong Thay Lee Hong Thay ... Duc
Olivia Williams ... Ruth Lang
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Storyline

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 <casaise@acm.org>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Read between the lies.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, brief nudity/sexuality, some violence and a drug reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

France | Germany | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 March 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ghost Writer See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£853,679 (United Kingdom), 18 April 2010, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$183,009, 21 February 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$15,541,549, 17 June 2010

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,741,549, 6 May 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was originally filmed as an R-rated thriller, but upon its purchase for U.S. distribution, it needed to be cut down to PG-13, to ensure a wider audience. This was done by cutting out eighteen "f" words, three "c" words, and also some graphic sexual dialogue, as well as trimming some CGI blood spray during a death scene. See more »

Goofs

In the middle of the movie the Ghost underlines all instances of "Ruth" in the manuscript. Later in the movie he underlines various words including "Ruth" which now has no underlining. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
The Ghost: You realize I know nothing about politics.
Rick Ricardelli: You voted for him, didn't you?
The Ghost: Adam Lang? Of course I did, everyone voted for him. He wasn't a politician, he was a craze.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. The title and cast list do not appear until after the last scene of the movie. See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Eat Pray Love (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Marcia Funebre
Allegro Assai from Beethoven's Symphony No. 3
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Symphony Nova Scotia
Conducted by Georg Tintner
Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Has Polanski made the perfect movie?
26 February 2010 | by aharmasSee all my reviews

The key word here is suspense, the perfect blend of a director at the peak of his powers, a script that beautifully works with a source without diluting its essence or compromising its subject matter, and with a timing so perfect that no false note is hit, enrapturing its audience, never letting go, pushing its limits as the audience awaits its incredible resolution.

McGregor plays a hired writer who comes in to assist Lang (Brossnan) in the publication of his memoirs. Timing couldn't get worse as an unexpected complication ensues and many people's lives and reputations are suddenly in danger. As the film reaches its conclusion, with tensions and levels of paranoia reaching unheard limits, it's got our attention, and it has earned every bit of it.

The quality of the writing is impressive, with no false moves, no red herrings, no unnecessary distractions, no manipulations to sway you one way or another. What we have is a mix of intrigue, action, Shakespearean drama, and performers who might never be this good again. Polanski channels Hitchcock at his best, using Desplat's driving score (himself channeling Herrman), and just when it all could have been a tribute, it soars above its inspiration.

Among so many impressive elements, one has to mention the note perfect and outstanding Olivia Williams, an actress that has moved on from being physically alluring to developing acting talents which could rank her with Streep and Close because of her impeccable and powerful turn. Here is a woman who hardly resorts to gimmicks, but takes the most normal of situations and weaves a wave of intrigue that would leave you breathless.

"The Ghost Writer" is a mystery, a thriller, a tribute to the masters who inspired the genre and might even surpass all those sources of inspiration. The film mixes politics with an old fashion thrills and makes us wonder why Hollywood hasn't made movies like this more often. It's early in the year, but it's going to be hard to find anything that can even come close to this movie, a film that is as perfect as anything any director has ever put together, Hitchcock included.


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