DVD & Blu-ray reviews
Friday 24 September 2010
The Ghost (15)
Last week Russell Crowe sabotaged Robin Hood with his absurd accent, and this week it's Ewan McGregor's turn, inexplicably lending his ghost-writer a cockney twang. It very nearly sinks Polanski's gripping adaptation of Robert Harris's political thriller. McGregor plays the unnamed writer, who's asked to pen former prime minister Adam Lang's memoirs after the previous ghost-writer meets a watery grave. He is whisked off to a remote island retreat where he encounters a smarmy Lang (Tony Blair, perhaps?) and the two women in his life, his PA and mistress Amelia (Kim Cattrall) and his wife Ruth (Olivia Williams, excellent). It's an undemanding paranoid thriller, which could have been directed by anyone, frankly, but it's effectively atmospheric nonetheless. Ben Walsh
The Special Relationship (15)
Alastair Campbell may quibble with the factual details, Tony Blair may claim not to have seen it, but Cherie, at least, ought to be a fan of Peter Morgan and his "Blair Trilogy", of which The Special Relationship is the final part. In this and its predecessors, screenwriter Morgan has given a far more favourable account of Mrs Blair (played by Helen McCrory) than any journalist. Michael Sheen's Blair is as engaging in his self-regard as ever, with Dennis Quaid's Clinton charismatic and unsavoury in equal measure. Performances aside, The Special Relationship isn't half as engrossing as The Queen or The Deal, racing through each episode in the President and Prime Minister's working partnership like Clinton through a packet of potato chips. Tim Walker
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