The Ghost Writer | Chicago Reader

The Ghost Writer

Because this suspense film was directed by Roman Polanski and centers on a character who's fighting extradition for past crimes, it's bound to get more serious attention than it deserves. A successful ghostwriter (Ewan McGregor) is hired by a New York publisher to spice up the dull memoir of a former British prime minister (Pierce Brosnan); after the writer takes up residence at the politician's U.S. retreat, the International Criminal Court orders the PM to stand trial for having handed over terror suspects to the CIA for rendition (i.e., torture). This is a polished, palatable intrigue, with a knockout performance from Olivia Williams as the PM's hardened wife and a highly persuasive one from Kim Cattrall, cast against type as his buttoned-up personal assistant. But the mystery is unraveled a bit too conveniently, and the fatalistic Chinatown ending feels more rehearsed than revelatory. Among the able supporting cast are Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Hutton, Jim Belushi, and Eli Wallach.



  • Roman Polanski


  • Pierce Brosnan
  • Ewan McGregor
  • Kim Cattrall
  • Olivia Williams
  • Tom Wilkinson
  • Timothy Hutton
  • Eli Wallach
  • Jim Belushi
  • Richard Rycart


  • Roman Polanski
  • Robert Benmussa
  • Alain Sarde

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