There will be critics who call The Ghost Writer “a refreshing throwback to the taut political-conspiracy thrillers of the ’70s” and “an enjoyable treat that offers smart flashes of Roman Polanski in his prime,” and this praise, genuinely expressed or not, is unfortunate. Watching the film, I was convinced that had a “blind” screening been arranged—wherein a cinema-savvy audience was not aware of the director’s identity—hardly anyone would claim this a work by a masterful filmmaker. My personal guess would have been, “Ron Howard evoking Alfred Hitchcock—but has Howard lost his wet-fingered knack for the polished blockbuster? Either way, is this receiving a wide theatrical release?”

Read More »


Despite being under house arrest in Switzerland, Roman Polanski is planning to segue directly from completing The Ghost Writer to mounting a big screen version of God of Carnage.

Yasmina Reza‘s black comedy won the best play gong at the Tony Awards last year. The show relates the heated arguments of two pairs of parents, one of whose child has hurt the other in a playground incident. They aren’t arguing just about the kids, however – they get sucked into massive disagreements over just about every hot-button issue and taboo you can imagine, and their evening ends in utter chaos. It’s a kind of Abigail’s Party peopled with better-off more well educated characters.

Polanski’s wife Emanuele Seigner revealed the director’s plans in an interview with French Elle, related by The Los Angeles Times. Polanksi’s intention to film Carnage are not new but his persistance in pressing ahead despite current circumstances are what makes this news surprising.

Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer Movie Trailer

Boy-oh-boy is the trailer for Roman Polanski‘s The Ghost Writer melodramatic. This is some seriously loud filmmaking. It’s embedded beyond the break, but I suspect you can already feel it rumbling from up here.

The film is an adaptation of Robert Harris‘ thriller novel about a British Prime Minister based quite closely upon Tony Blair, and the nastiness that surrounds him. Pierce Brosnan is the PM and Ewan McGregor is the scribe called in the help him finish his memoirs after his last ghost writer dies in mysterious circumstances. It’s definitely a rather political story but the film seems pitched at a suitable level for easier, guilty-pleasure style consumption. Best of both worlds?

Read More »


Retro Whale has created a series of art based on the favorite filmmakers of film geeks. She has created quirky little portraits of 20 great filmmakers, which you can purchase as art prints, magnets, or 4×4 clapboard coasters (which are wall mountable).

Read More »


Ask and ye shall receive. Just a couple of hours ago I wrote about the US release date for Roman Polanski‘s new film The Ghost Writer, starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan. Given that Summit set February 19 as the date, I assumed that we’d see a trailer any day now. In fact, there’s one right now. Only trouble is, it’s in German. Check it out after the break. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:


As Roman Polanski has been under house arrest in Switzerland, his new film The Ghost Writer is in the final stages of completion and has been picked up for distribution in the United States by Summit Entertainment. Today the company said it would give the film a limited release on February 19, with expansion plans to follow on March 5 and March 19. The US limited release date is just over a week after the film debuts at the Berlin Film Festival on February 11. [Variety]

The film follows a ghostwriter, played by Ewan McGregor, as he uncovers deep secrets that jeopardize his life while working on the memoir of the former British Prime Minister, played by Pierce Brosnan. We’ve seen a very brief teaser trailer, cut when the film was still called The Ghost, but with this release date should get a trailer any day now. Meanwhile, Polanski’s court case continues. Read More »


Isn’t this a nicely ironic move by the tween-happy Summit Entertainment?

There was a shade of doubt about the future of The Ghost, Roman Polanski‘s latest film, when the director was arrested in Switzerland at the end of September. The mostly-completed film needed a sound mix and a few other tweaks, and Polanski worked on the film from his Swiss prison. Now Summit Entertainment has picked up the film for distribution in the US. It also has a slightly altered title: The Ghost Writer. Read More »

Roman Polanski Given Bail in Switzerland


It’s only been a couple weeks since we reported on the slow-boiling case of former fugitive director Roman Polanski, but there’s a bit of significant news today. After he has stewed in jail for almost two months (doesn’t seem like much, after having decades of freedom) Swiss courts have finally granted bail to Polanski. $4.5m is what will see him transferred from jail to house arrest in his Swiss chalet. It’s not happening immediately, but that bail move, together with recent statements by Polanski’s US lawyers, suggests that maybe he’s ready to face the court and get this over with.  Read More »


We don’t know a lot about Roman Polanski‘s currently unfinished film The Ghost. And though current comments from Ewan McGregor, who stars in the film, don’t do a lot to illuminate the project, they do add some context to the current conversation about Polanski in general. As Polanski faces a denial of bail in Switzerland (and some medical situation that saw him removed from jail for a short time) I enjoy the contrast between positive statements about Polanski the artist and the harsh reality of Polanski the fugitive. Read More »

Switzerland Won’t Release Polanski From Prison


Given that the Swiss government has more or less turned a blind eye to Roman Polanski‘s presence in the country over the past decade (despite an international warrant being out for his arrest since at least 2005) I suppose the filmmaker had reason to believe that he might be able to talk his way out of the Zurich prison that has been his home since September 26. But that isn’t happening. His legal reps have submitted multiple requests for the director to be freed, either on bail or otherwise, and the hammer is coming down. Polanski is staying in jail. Read More »