WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS A BIG SPOILER
In Contention’s Guy Lodge reports that the FIPRESCI has chosen Roman Polanski’s brilliant (if you see it a few times and are paying attention) Ghost Writer as their top pick. Lodge suggests that there may be a media rallying afoot. Then names their past winners – a surprising Oscar showing, with a few exceptions:
1999 ‚ÄúAll About My Mother,‚Äù Pedro Almod√≥var
2000 ‚ÄúMagnolia,‚Äù Paul Thomas Anderson
2001 ‚ÄúThe Circle,‚Äù Jafar Panahi
2002 ‚ÄúThe Man Without a Past,‚Äù Aki Kaurism√§ki
2003 ‚ÄúUzak,‚Äù Nuri Bilge Ceylan
2004 ‚ÄúNotre Musique,‚Äù Jean-Luc Godard
2005 ‚Äú3-Iron,‚Äù Kim Ki-duk
2006 ‚ÄúVolver,‚Äù Pedro Almod√≥var
2007 ‚Äú4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,‚Äù Cristian Mungiu
2008 ‚ÄúThere Will Be Blood,‚Äù Paul Thomas Anderson
2009 ‚ÄúThe White Ribbon,‚Äù Michael Haneke
2010 ‚ÄúThe Ghost Writer,‚Äù Roman Polanski
The Ghost Writer is, I think, a sister film to Frantic. Ryan pointed out to be how similar the ending was to Chinatown, and yes, there is a similarity. If I could sum up Polanski’s themes post-Manson murders it would be “everybody dies.”
The breathtaking way The Ghost Writer ends has stayed with me in the months that followed my own belated viewing. Because of the hysteria around his arrest, and the general hysteria afoot in America today, Polanski has been shut out of the Oscar race, we’re all assuming. That, and many just didn’t think the film was good enough. So there are two competing forces. Even without said scandal, it’s hard to see the film getting Oscar traction.
It would, however, rock my sad little world if an FYC campaign bloomed for the film, because I think, many years from now, it will be one of 2010’s true masterpieces.
Yet, in the post-Toronto phase, we don’t have that many films to choose from that are better than The Ghost Writer. But we will have to dig them out, and I will try to do so an hour or so from now when I post the State of the Race.