Whatever you may think about Roman Polanski, it cannot be denied that he is one of the greatest directors in filmmaking history. His new political thriller, “The Ghost Writer,” stands as a testament to his genius. It’s a sophisticated and suspenseful masterpiece that rivals some of Alfred Hitchcock’s best work.
Ewan McGregor, in the title role, gets more than he bargained for when he reluctantly agrees to ghost write on behalf of the former prime minister of England, Adam Lang (the always brilliant Pierce Brosnan). It seems that his predecessor fell off the ferry and didn’t make the swim back. The original manuscript, which he left behind, is less than engaging, so the new Ghost (McGregor’s never called by name) needs to embellish. Through interviews and investigations, Ghost unearths mounds of closet skeletons and dastardly deeds.
Conspiracy theorists are going to eat up the not-so-vague parallels Polanski throws out in this intriguing mystery. Tony Blair, Condoleezza Rice, George Bush and Halliburton all take it on the cheek one way or another. Irony plays big in this film, as well. Just as the new Ghost begins his work, Lang is accused of kidnapping and torture. He exiles himself in the United States ... hmm ... exile? Accusations?
Because he could not set foot on U.S. soil, Polanski shot the entire film in Germany, not Martha’s Vineyard, as depicted. He also edited “The Ghost Writer” while incarcerated in a Swiss prison ... amazing, given the end result. Gifted casting — which includes Olivia Williams, Kim Cattrall, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton and Eli Wallach — is also responsible for making this film utterly engrossing.
When Polanski gets behind a camera, perceptions are challenged on numerous levels. Revisit “Repulsion”(1965), “Rosemary’s Baby”(1968), “Chinatown”(1974) and “Death or the Maiden” (1994) to remind yourself how this visionary artist changed filmmaking forever.
— Pam Nadon
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7 Florida Folk Art
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7 Aaron Blaise Solo Show
7 Sarasota Orchestra presents Exotic Stories
8:00 pm - 4:30 pm
7 Ring Sarasota
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13 Founder's Talk & Tea
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13 Paris Flea Market - An Upscale Sale
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13 Mozart Madness 1
13 Fuzion Dance Artists Presents "Dance Couture: Art Meets Dance"
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March 10: The great debate
The Observer will hold a debate for Longboat Key Town Commission candidates at 7 p.m. March 10, at Bayfront Park Recreation Center, 4052 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Greg Hoffman SCOREs award
Longboat Key resident Greg Hoffman received Manasota SCORE’s Platinum Leadership Award at the organization’s 50th anniversary awards luncheon Feb. 24.
Spring forward for Daylight Saving
Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, so turn your clocks forward by an hour before bedtime Saturday night.