The Ghost Writer

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 April, 2010, 12:00am

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Olivia Williams, Kim Cattrall
Director: Roman Polanski
Category: IIB

About 10 minutes into his latest film, Roman Polanski has his protagonist - a hack known as the Ghost (played by Ewan McGregor) - being grilled for a job rewriting the memoirs of former British prime minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan). He is up against it - his work has mostly involved ghosting celebrities' autobiographies, with titles such as I Came, I Sawed, I Conquered - but his agent is staking his claim on just one thing: he can 'get to the heart' of Lang. He gets the job, but not before the publisher repeats: 'The heart.'

Polanski knows Lang's feelings by heart: like Lang, holed up in New England to avoid extradition to Europe for war-crime charges, the filmmaker has spent years in self-exile to avoid a sexual assault case. The Ghost Writer's origins lie in the novel Ghost by Robert Harris, a friend of Tony Blair, the obvious real-life equivalent of Adam Lang. Polanski is obviously having fun, playing up his own tribulations: the anti-Lang demonstrators could very well look the same as those protesting against the filmmaker over the years.

The Ghost Writer opens today