The result is certainly Polanski's best film in years and one can only hope his current legal woes - facing extradition to the US over his 1977 conviction in an underage sex case - don't detract from a thriller that oozes intrigue and Hitchcockian menace.
Though it will likely be overshadowed by the on-rushing summer blockbusters, The Ghost Writer offers something different and a welcome getaway from feather-lite narratives we're all too used to in modern cinema.
The script shows butterfingers habits when it comes to narrative detail, and the final revelation holds little interest. But Polanski's approach is always magical. Even when diluted, it casts a potent spell.
Polanski never lets things get too self-regarding, liberally sprinkling the script - co-written with Harris - with some nice touches of humour from the novel and the change to the ending actually ties things up more neatly.