Continuing controversy over Roman Polanski aside, you couldn't have asked for a better debut for the director's new thriller "The Ghost Writer." 

Opening in just four theaters this past weekend, "Writer" did an impressive $183,000 or $45,752 per screen.  More importantly as it expands across the country over the next few weeks, the critics completely embraced it.  The film has an 81% average on Rotten Tomatoes and a strong 76 on Metacritic with reviewers from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal supplying raves.  The reception won't do much to help Polanski's image, but it's a big boost for two of the film's stars: Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor.

As the ghost writer in question, McGregor hasn't had a leading role this juicy in some time.  Brosnan who plays the disgraced former British Prime Minister who is trying to write his autobiography, has the difficult task of making his character seem as distinct from the unpopular Tony Blair as possible.  To say its one of Brosnan's best performances on screen isn't out of bounds.

HitFix's Katie Hasty spoke to both men last week in New York about working with Polanski, how the two men interacted during the shoot and, most intriguingly, how politics influence their personal lives. In particular, Brosnan has some sharp words to say about the difficulties he's found campaigning for environmental concerns in California.  Worth catching just for that.

You can watch the interview embedded in this post or check out a larger version here.

"The Ghost Writer"
is now playing in New York and Los Angeles and should expand across the country in the coming weeks.