The Ghost Writer is coming out on DVD August 3, but with two opinion writers I respect writing completely different takes on the news that Switzerland will not extradite Roman Polanski to the USA to stand trial on a decades-old rape charge, it seems a fitting time to talk about the film and its director.
Richard Cohen offers a somewhat surprising set of arguments for why Swiss courts have done the right thing http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/07/thank_you_switzerland_for_free.html while his colleague Eugene Robinson echoes the feelings of many others who written and talked about the reasons why the director should have to pay for his crime http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/12/AR2010071203021.html.
I confess that until the recent coverage of new events in the case, I had not given much thought to Polanski in recent years. Yes, Chinatown and The Pianist are remarkable films. And, yes, no one should be above the law.
Even so, I did go see The Ghost Writer. I did something I don’t always do so well and compartmentalized by separating my thoughts about Roman Polanski the person from my impressions about the most recent film he had directed.
How was it? The Ghost Writer reminded me of many of Hitchcock’s films: the plot doesn’t matter much because it’s all about the form, and what he does with the form is exceptional. For the visuals alone, the film is worth watching…if you choose to/are able to compartmentalize…