I’ve taken to going to movies here in Buenos Aires, because I’ve heard rumors that if you buy a special ticket at a special theater, you can watch the movie in a lounge chair with a blanket. Remove the popcorn and all of the people, and you have my ideal space of existence. But I can’t figure out how to order the special tickets, or what movie theaters offer them. “Luxury box, please, for the rich people,” is a phrase I have yet to learn in español.
So I’ve spent many a night this past week watching English language movies with commoners, in strange musty old theaters dotted throughout the city, with packages of Argentinian chocolate that tastes vaguely of citrus and wax.
The other night I saw The Ghost Writer. It fulfilled all of my expectations, which were extremely low. Meaning that I found the movie to be on the dark side of mediocre, with an enjoyment factor elevated only by my eagerness to justify my disgust with Roman Polanski through his work. “See,” I thought. “This is what happens when you rape young girls and refuse to face justice. Polanski.”
Anyway, here are some uninformed observations:
1. I still can’t figure out if the movie is supposed to be a comic rip on noir, or if the screenplay was just bad. The overdone drama, the complete lack of real suspense. The war crimes, the involvement of the CIA, the sleeping with the boss’ wife. It’s like Polanski made a comic book version of a noir film in the 1970s, and set it in the year 2010.
2. Is it just me, or is Pierce Brosnan not the best of actors? Or is he in on the joke? It kind of seems like he’s winking at the audience. I would love to see the outtakes of the scene on the plane, when he starts screaming at Ewan McGregor. The cameras stop rolling, and Brosnan and McGregor just explode with laughter. “Did you see that,” Brosnan shouts to the crew. “Do you see Ewan try to hold it together?”
3. Yes, the American government is bad, Polanski. I applaud you for making that clear in your movie. Yes, they want to extradite you for drugging and raping a 13 year old. It might be unfair, and perhaps the justice of it is tainted, but hey, no one likes a pedophile! If you had been a man and faced up to it when it happened 30 years ago, you’d be able to go wherever you wanted today. And jail’s not even that bad for a celebrity. Who do you think you are, Lindsay Lohan?
4. The cinematography on the film is beautiful, and it made me want to go to Nantucket in August with my family. In order to translate how much I was affected, let’s just say that the last time I went to the island with my mom, I threatened to attach bags of sand to my ankles and drown myself in the ocean. So in other words, I want to make a suicide joke and the film was also pretty lovely.
5. Watching Ewan McGregor not write made me so anxious that I ate an entire bag of dried figs, an entire bag of walnuts, and a quinoa energy bar. That’s the most heathy I’ve eaten in at least 3 months.
As a final word of advice, skip The Ghost Writer, and watch Brick instead. You can thank me with a lock of Yoann Gourcuff’s hair.