Former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (played by Pierce Brosnan) is working with a ghost writer to produce his memoirs. He has chosen an isolated but secure location in Massachusetts to work on this. One day, his ghost writer is on the car ferry travelling towards work, but when the ferry arrives at port his car is left behind – he seems to have fallen overboard. Soon after, back in London, another writer (by Ewan McGregor) is struggling for recognition from his publisher and by chance the PM’s team have arrived to find a new ghost writer for the political memoir. The publishers quickly suggest him (McGregor’s character – he never gets a name) as the new ghost writer, He feels incapable and is tentative, but the job pays well so he reluctantly agrees and travels immediately to America where he meets Lang, his wife Ruth (by Olivia Williams) and his personal assistant Amelia (by Kim Cattrall). He quickly starts to work with Lang. He finds him difficult to soften, but with support from Ruth and Amelia he begins to put the back story together – but then a huge media storm involving Lang erupts. As the story unfolds, the ghost writer realises there is far more to Adam Lang and his political life than he first realised. The tension builds as the writer uncovers a trail of secrets which lead him to conclude the previous ghost writer may have been murdered and that the activities of Lang during his political career are questionable.
This is a well made thriller (by Roman Polanski) – the landscape for the story is cold and unwelcoming – much like the writer’s experience with his clients. He tries to bring a warmth to the household, which is entertaining – he does a good job. Ewan McGregor’s performance is great. Pierce Brosnan is a very credible PM and the two strong women – Kim Cattrall and Olivia Williams are excellent. It is good to see Tom Wilkinson, James Belushi and Timothy Hutton in this too. There are enough similarities and pointers to real life that it kept me enthralled to the end.