The Ghost Writer

My word, isn't Director Roman Polanski ("The Pianist") a little ray of sunshine!

This international conspiracy film goes after Condoleezza Rice, Halliburton, President Bush, and numerous other actors on the world stage from the recent past. Hmmm... I thought the election was over....

Ewan McGregor ("Amelia") is hired to replace a ghostwriter who died before he completed an autobiography for the British Prime Minister, played by Pierce Brosnan ("The Lightning Thief"). Only minutes after accepting the assignment, our ghostwriter is mugged; this sets the tone for the rest of the film. His character is smart and resourceful, but is heedless of potential danger as he seems compelled to investigate his predecessor's suspicious death.

The partially edited manuscript is considered a highly valuable but still secret document, so our hero must join his client in semi-seclusion on a remote island, which is reachable only by public ferry or private jet. He no more than arrives when the news breaks that the PM had authorized waterboarding and other heinous acts against terrorists. By the way, Brosnan's character makes an interesting comment about that.

The PM's executive aide is ably played by Kim Cattrall ("Sex and the City") who turns in a passably good British accent, while his wife is portrayed by Olivia Williams ("An Education"). We are also treated to brief appearances by Tom Wilkinson ("Michael Clayton") playing an American college professor, and Eli Wallach ("New York, I Love You") who clearly relishes his geezer roles. James (Jim) Belushi ("According to Jim") and Timothy Hutton ("Leverage") also pop in and out.

There were illogical actions and inconsistencies, but I didn't care enough about any of the characters to get too worked up about it...