Tony Blair described Robert Harris as a “cheeky fuck” for the thinly veiled portrait in his novel, The Ghost Writer. Later, when the film of the book came out Tony Blair joked that it’s hard to be too angry if you’re being played by Pierce Brosnan. Well, quite. In The Ghost The former James Bond plays a former Prime Minister, Adam Hall who is being accused of war crimes in the
Middle East. He is holed up on a small island off the coast along with PA (Kim Kattrall), wife (Olivia Williams), and ghost writer of his memoirs (Ewan MacGregor). The unnamed writer is also the protagonist of this solid thriller. US
It’s an impressive script (co-written by director, Roman Polanski). The tension increases relentlessly and the dialogue has a rapier wit. Although there have been adaptations (by others) of his work, this is actually Robert Harris’s first screenwriting credit and it shows. But in a good way. It makes you realise how much repetition and cliché we put up with from
. This, on the other hand, feels fresh. Hollywood
I did have a bit of a problem with Ewan MacGregor. He seems a bit young for the hard-drinking cynic, who speaks of “ageing”. (Or is that just me getting old? First it’s the police that look young, then it’s movie stars.) Not only that, his geezerish accent reeks of fakery.
It’s simply good to see an essentially British cast in such a slick production. It’s not often one sees these kind of production values today without seeing a single bonnet or horsedrawn carriage.