The Sexist

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.

  • Christa

    So you've just seen the trailer am I correct? And you feel therefore able to comment on the flm after just that. Well aren't you the smart cookie then? Nothing like unbiased and fully researched reporting. Can really see why you've got the job. Just as well you don't have to report on anything remotely serious. Good for you.

  • m

    Maybe you missed the part where she said, "If The Ghost Writer is half as bad as the trailer, it looks like it’s time for the free pass to be revoked." Most notably the 'If'.

  • AM

    Maybe the "writer" missed the fact that how a trailer is cut or scored usually has nothing to do with a film and isn't done by the director.

    Besides the "if" is hanging by a very slim thread. Reviews are already out from early screenings. Word is - it is indeed great, one of his best films, his best thriller in decades - and perfectly cast. Check out recent articles in CHUD, AICN, Cinematical, HitFlix, USA Today, Telerama etc.

  • Xenu01

    Maybe the "commenters" missed the fact that genius or no, Roman Polanski chose to flee the country rather than go to jail for raping a child.

  • AM

    That has been explained and discussed far better elsewhere. This article bizarrely and erroneously tried to tie that into the supposed lack of quality of the film which alas for the commentator doesn't seem to be true. If you build your argument on sand it's bound to cave in.

  • Naomi Johnson

    I don't care if he's the Picassoof cinema (and he isn't), he is a convicted child rapist. If he were on fire, I'd throw lighter fluid on him.

  • Joe Schmoe

    The number of non-evil artists--that is, the majority--render any defense of the crazy, scumball ones moot.

  • Rebecca

    What have you got against Pierce Brosnan? So much for objective journalism. You dislike Roman Polanski and Pierce Brosnan, therefore the new film must be bad? Is that your logic? I don't condone anything Polanski did. But after coming home and finding his wife, their unborn child and entire household murdered, I think the man has suffered enough. That alone would make anyone a little weird. But now its been more than 30 years. Even his victim says its time to move on. She sued him in the 80s for full restitution. In the 70s, he served the time he was initially sentenced by his plea bargain. Yet, somehow justice still isn't served? Sounds more like a witch hunt to me.

  • Joe

    Go to hell. If Polanski was a false rape accuser like Crystal Mangum you would support no jail time instead of hounding him after thirty years. You're a typical feminist moron.

  • Cheney

    "AM" - you definitely have missed the point of the trailer being the one of the biggest selling point of a movie to a majority of its audience. Therefore a lot of time is spent trying to make it a whole lot more appealing than the movie can ever be.

  • Dave

    To Polanski - Eat sh*t and die m*therf*cker

  • kristin

    Say what you like about Polanski I don't care but, bloody hell, leave Pierce alone! If you're going to judge people's professional capabilities on their own character you can't put Pierce and Polanski in the same arena. Pierce is a good person. Loyal and true. So judge the film on it's merits as a film and not on your perceived ideas of the people in it.

  • Broggly

    I like Dostoevsky. A mock execution and unjust imprisonment did wonders for his artistic skill. Imagine the movies Polanski could make if he were put in jail.