Embattled director Roman Polanski has scored a victory with his latest movie "The Ghost Writer" - the film has secured rave reviews following its premiere at the Berlin film festival in Germany. The political thriller starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan premiered on Friday, February 12 and is one of 20 movies up for the prized Golden Bear award for best picture.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker is currently under house arrest at his Swiss chalet and did not attend the premiere. He pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 - but he fled the U.S. before his sentence could be passed. He was held by officials in Zurich in 2009 and placed under house arrest.
On January 22, a Los Angeles judge ruled he must return to America to face sentencing. Polanski refused to let his legal woes disrupt the project, and completed post-production on the film while in prison and under house arrest in Switzerland. And now he is an early frontrunner for the Golden Bear accolade - which he also won in 1966 for "Cul-de-Sac".
A Times of London critic lauded the film, "With this immensely enjoyable, satisfyingly convoluted thriller he demonstrates exactly why he is still a force to be reckoned with. From the opening scene it is clear Polanski had complete control, whether or not he was behind bars when he finished it."
A reviewer from The Hollywood Reporter described the thriller as "sleek" and "hypnotic," while a critic from British newspaper The Guardian adds, "This is his most purely enjoyable picture for years, a Hitchcockian nightmare with a persistent, stomach-turning sense of disquiet, brought off with confidence and dash."
The Berlin film festival awards ceremony is scheduled for February 20.