Roman Polanski Erodes His “Cinematic Genius” Rape Defense
Thanks to Alyssa Rosenberg for pointing to the new trailer for Roman Polanski's upcoming film, "The Ghost Writer." As Rosenberg notes, the movie looks extremely silly, from Kim Cattrall showing up with some sort of non-specific accent, to a sign for the "Fisherman's Cove Inn" ominously swinging in the wind, to Pierce Brosnan acting as blatantly evil as he can possibly get away with. There is a silver lining here, however.
Finally, we've got the perfect rejoinder to one of the most common Roman Polanski defenses out there—you know, the arguments Polanski defenders throw out in order to justify not prosecuting a convicted rapist who skipped the U.S. to avoid serving time for his rape. That argument is this: "But Roman Polanski made the Pianist!" And if Polanski had been forced to actually serve jail time for bedding a 13-year-old, the argument goes, perhaps the fabric of time would have been irrevocably torn, resulting in the Pianist never been made, or something!
This was the argument preferred by the hundreds of Hollywood luminaries who signed a petition for Polanski's release: "Apprehended like a common terrorist Saturday evening, September 26, as he came to receive a prize for his entire body of work, Roman Polanski now sleeps in prison." In other words: Roman Polanski makes good movies (just like we do!). Give him a pass.
If The Ghost Writer is half as bad as the trailer, it looks like it's time for the free pass to be revoked. Now, an appropriate response to the "But he made the Pianist" argument might be this: Well, if Polanski had been kept in prison last year instead of being whisked away for house arrest at his Swiss ski chalet, where he reportedly finished up work on The Ghost Writer (presumably to ensure that that dramatic musical swell behind ominously-swinging sign was synced up just so), then—my God!—maybe somebody else could have made this movie, someone who wouldn't cast Pierce Brosnan in it. Plus, Polanski would have actually served his time for raping someone. And everyone wins.