FIPRESCI Names The Ghost Writer the Best Film of the Year

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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 “All About My Mother,” Pedro Almodóvar
2000 “Magnolia,” Paul Thomas Anderson
2001 “The Circle,” Jafar Panahi
2002 “The Man Without a Past,” Aki Kaurismäki
2003 “Uzak,” Nuri Bilge Ceylan
2004 “Notre Musique,” Jean-Luc Godard
2005 “3-Iron,” Kim Ki-duk
2006 “Volver,” Pedro Almodóvar
2007 “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” Cristian Mungiu
2008 “There Will Be Blood,” Paul Thomas Anderson
2009 “The White Ribbon,” Michael Haneke
2010 “The Ghost Writer,” 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.

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