Monday, March 1, 2010

Man, I've been riding a tide of snark and annoyance for too long

I know I haven't been the sunniest person lately on this blog, when I post. So let me say something good for once.

The Ghost Writer, the new Roman Polanksi film? It's actually pretty good.*

It's no Chinatown, obviously. But it's not pretending to be anything bigger than it is, which is: a well-done psychological thriller. It has characters with believable motivations, a refreshing lack of explosions, and builds suspense out of the inability to know what other people think or feel.

I have no idea how wide a release this'll get, for several reasons. But it's got some great performances by everyone involved, including Kim Cattrall (I know!). Oh, Olivia Williams has a bigger part than the posters & press might suggest, which is always great. Someone give her another lead role, please. The production design & cinematography is well-done without screaming "this is a set!" or "look at what great geniuses we are!"

I don't want to oversell it. But the film is just so unassuming and competently put-together that it surprises you.

*And as regards Roman Polanski's proclivities: he's in jail, he certainly deserves to be. But it's not like going to see it is going to get him released. And he's a talented film-maker.