“The Ghost Writer”
 
Ewan McGregor plays Mr. Everyman, and when as a mere human, he’s in mortal danger we want to yell out, “Obi-Wan, use the Force!”
This time, he’s a British ghost writer, hired to help a former Prime Minister write his memoirs.  Sounds a little dull.
But, the assignment turns out to be anything but routine.  It seems that the previous “ghost writer” departed this mortal coil under mysterious circumstances.  The former PM, of course, has made his enemies---what prominent politician hasn’t?---but there seems to be a kind of anger and desperation about him that doesn’t quite fit with being recently retired, either.  Shouldn’t he be relieved, relaxed, and maybe a little bored?
Pierce Brosnan is really well-suited for this role:  so suave he seems almost plastic.  Is there a brain lurking inside that pretty little head?  And inside that svelte, camera-ready body, is there a backbone?
            Kim Cattrall, playing the former PM’s personal assistant, seems to exude sexuality even when she’s acting businesslike.  Of course we suspect that her possessive loyalty to her boss has crossed some sort of ethical line, but nobody’s going to admit anything, so right now all we have are our suspicions.  “The wife,” played by Olivia Williams, is still a looker herself, but in her desperate attempts to still be an important figure in her famous husband’s life, her intelligence has turned to shrewdness, and her perceptivity to cold calculation, and her soft humor to caustic sarcasm.  Not exactly delightful to be around.  But nothing much escapes her notice, either, which can be a valuable investigative asset, in itself.
            In the midst of all this seaside-resort-intrigue we have a sinister plot to silence certain parts of the PM’s past, or at least downplay their significance.  Our Ghost Writer, being a true professional and not a hired hack, gets his hackles up about the things people aren’t telling him.  And then, accidentally discovering the clues left behind by his predecessor only makes him more determined that this is less of a public relations “fluff” piece, and more of a high-impact political bomb, which, if exploded publicly, could smite a lot of careers.  Ah, but as Pontius Pilate once famously said, “What is truth?”  (John 18:38)  And how will we recognize it when we see it, or hear it?  And surely you realize that just because you’re being actively seduced doesn’t make you overwhelmingly attractive---it could be that they just want to distract you, and the transparently sensuous strategy is working quite well.
            “The Ghost Writer” is a pleasant little pot-boiler that won’t disappoint the intelligence.  And it’s mostly easy on the eyes and ears and sensibilities, as well.
 
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Greenville , Texas