Review: The Ghost Writer

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The Pitch: The Secret Diary of Tony Blair, Aged 13 3/4.

The Review: It may not have been the intention when first put into production, but this film offers excellent value, giving two for the price of one on thinly veiled allegories. Not only does the the story stand as a comment on Tony Blair’s actions and relationship with the US, but also gives some sense of the isolation felt by director Roman Polanski in his Swiss house arrest.

There’s also a bargain basement of dodgy accents which offset excellent performances, including Pierce Brosnan’s intermittently chav ex-PM, Kim Cattrall’s mid-Atlantic secretary and Ewan MacGregor’s Cockney writer, who manages to sound authentic but never convincing.

The story motors along at a steady pace, but although maintaining a moderate level of tension is sorely lacking in one thing. For a film marketed as a comedy, to put all of the laughs in the trailer is unfortunate; for a film such as this with thriller aspirations to put all its thrills in the trailer is nearly unforgivable.

And any good work that the film does is undone by a couple of decisions which raised unintentional laughs at the showing I attended, one a plot development half way through that even MacGregor’s character admits out loud is a bad idea, the other the final shot, which attempts to be profound and different and just ends up feeling slightly silly – much like the film itself, unfortunately.

Why see it at the cinema: To reassure yourself that other people find some aspects as silly as you do when they laugh out loud.

The Score: 5/10

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