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Review: 'Ghost Writer' tells a good story

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
February 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Rather than review this week's big opener, entertainment reporter George Pennacchio decided to check out one of the movie's opening in limited release -- Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer."In "The Ghost Writer," Ewan McGregor is brought in to help a former British PM finish his memoirs after the original ghost writer unexpectedly and mysteriously dies.

The former politician, played by Pierce Brosnan, suddenly finds himself in hot water over how he may have handled the war on terror. And "The Ghost Writer" realizes there's something in the manuscript that could get him killed.

It took me a moment to get used to Kim Cattrall with a British accent, but it's good to see her try something so different from her well-known "Sex and the City" role.

As the star, Ewan McGregor is completely believable as a guy thrown into a crazy situation. The script allows his character to be witty and funny as the mystery builds, and that's a real plus. It's one of the things I liked most about the movie and McGregor pulls it off.

And Olivia Williams, who co-starred in "An Education," is just fantastic, strong, opinionated, bossy, even vulnerable. She is one to watch.

"The Ghost Writer" builds maybe a little too slowly, and not with as much tension as I expected, but it still tells a good story. And because of the way it's woven, it'll help if you really pay attention.

Jim Belushi is good here in an unexpected role. But I felt some of Timothy Hutton's performance must have been left on the cutting room floor. He just didn't get enough to do.

That said, I still had a really good time watching it all play out. It's absolutely worth the price of admission.