Sunday, March 21, 2010

the ghost writer.

yesterday i decided that i wanted to go to the cinema, and because nothing else really interested me enough to spend $8 on it, the ghost writer basically won the toss. i knew next to nothing about it, so i skimmed the new york times review and figured it seemed like a ewan mcgregor sort of evening.

i'm no film buff, but i know what i like. and i liked this.

turned out that i am absolutely smitten with the whole thing. i thought the film was perfectly cast. i'll be the first to admit that pierce brosnan, to me, doesn't mean much. but as adam lang, former prime minister, he was at the top of his game. and ewan mcgregor, cast as the ghost writer for mr. lang's memoirs, was just the right kind of unattached, seemingly benign presence. and i'll also say that when i saw kim cattrall was in this movie, i was a little skeptical. simply because i've never bought into the sex in the city franchise and that's the only thing i associate her with. but as amelia bly, adam lang's assistant in the movie, she wasn't half bad. i also loved olivia williams as ruth lang. but the clincher was tom wilkinson, who seems to appear in every political-intrigue movie that i like.

my first thought after leaving the cinema was that the ghost writer is like tony gilroy's michael clayton meets any number of alfred hitchcock films. the atmospheric, dank, oppressive cloudiness and darkness of the ghost writer, paired with alexandre desplat's musical score made for a winning combination of "whoa, creepy," and "wait, what?"

unquestionably, the plot was predictable. that said, it was the subtle nuances that made the film. the creeping shots of the gray, ultra-modern martha's vineyard home, the winter sea that rolls like mercury, or the mysterious curving, wooded roads really emphasized darkness and foreboding. creepalicious! it was filmed mostly in germany, so i read, and there is something rather ethereal and foreign about the u.s. setting. while meant to be in martha's vineyard, it seems to be elsewhere. there is a neither-here-nor-there feeling to the whole thing that keeps you wondering who will end up here and who will end up there.

anyway, like i knew it would, it has grown on me even since last night. i left feeling bungled-up, a little unsure, but fascinated and impressed. today i'm just more fascinated and impressed, and i'll see it again.

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