The Ghost Writer

Last night at the Sarajevo Film Festival, the Fairies and I took ourselves off to Novi Grad to see The Ghost Writer, a middling-to-good film based on a captivating premise: what the hell was Tony Blair thinking when he took the UK to war?

Based on Thomas Harris’s novel, here it’s a fictional former Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), who’s holed up in a borrowed house on a wintry barrier island. He hires a ghost writer (Ewan MacGregor) to re-write his non-threatening, non-controversial but eagerly awaited memoirs. But there’s foul play involved, a pending War Crimes trial, the CIA, extraordinary Rendition, Iraq, murder, the whiff of an affair, an evidently more shrewd, capable and ruthless wife. Olivia Williams once again just acts every one else off the screen, she’s transcendent as the brainy, brittle, forthright former First Lady.

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Sex and the (New York) City

I need to admit something: I don’t think I ever sat through an entire episode of the Sex and the City tv series. Miserable old grump that I am, I never quite saw the point of the cartoonish caricatures, the jump-the-shark misadventures, the trivialised sexualisation of everything, and the truly, truly ridiculous clothes. I’m also not at all a fan of Sarah Jessica Parker, who has previously always reminded me of a yorkie on stilts. So I was trepidatious and somewhat nonplussed to find myself at Ladies’ Night at the V&A, one of three men in an audience of eleventy excitable womenfolk, watching the Sex and the City movie.

But here’s my guilty secret: I really, really enjoyed it. Yes, if you’re not into fashion, there are some slow and possibly bemusing bits. But then again, if you’re not into fashion, the shameless prostution of Designer product placements would also go right over your head. See? – this is a glass-half-full kind of post. 

SiC is well written, sweet, moving and funny. New York -commonly held to be SiC’s fifth character – also reappears, and there are sojourns in Malibu and Mexico. Manhattan of course steals the show; it’s all jaw-dropping apartments and stylish watering holes, honkingly busy streets contrasting with the green urban solitude of Central Park. And of course the tourists will go in droves.

“There could be no better advertising campaign for New York City,” says Chris Heywood of NYC & Company, the city’s tourism arm, (in USA Today.) “Sex and the City: The Movie promotes the city’s attractions “without costing us anything.”

On location in New York City

New York, apparently, gets better with age. And frankly, so do the cast. The women are radiant and marvellous, the men are able foils and Sarah Jessica Parker is absolutely fantastic; when she laughs it’s infectious. Sex and the City, the Movie, is an entertaining and very human celebration of friendship. NOW, I get it.