First Posted: 07/07/03
There are several reasons why Roman Polanski’s Oscar win for The Pianist is so thrilling, not the least of which is the fact that finally, one of the “great directors” at last secured the top prize after other giants — Kubrick, Hitchcock, Altman, and Scorsese, to name a few — were unjustly defeated by young upstarts and downright embarrassing newcomers (must I repeat that Kevin Costner won over Scorsese’s Goodfellas, one of the confirmed masterpieces of recent years?) To hear the name of one of cinema history’s best and most innovative voices read aloud was easily the most welcome upset of the night and for once, the award was given for a genuinely worthy film rather than being a career-capping sentimental prize. Hey, Chinatown and Rosemary’s Baby were better films, but I can live with The Pianist; it is a worthy choice. But, more than that, Polanski’s win signifies a new era in Hollywood and, perhaps, America as a whole. We now live in a time where a rapist — a child rapist, no less — can win the approval of an entire community, even if he is not “allowed” to pick up his trophy in person. And let me be the first to say that, well, it’s about time.
While the self-righteous and the prudishly moral couldn’t get enough of the story (I believe religious fanatic and film “critic” Michael Medved condemned the award as “sanctioning immorality,” or some such phrase that most of these ass holes pull out for such occasions), I was applauding the decision. The award, yes, but also America having finally, mercifully, forgiven a man for an alleged “sin” that should be put to bed at long last. While thousands were asking only that Polanski confess his crime and beg for our forgiveness, I did not hear one person ask for similar groveling regarding the far more serious crime of inflicting Pirates on an unsuspecting public. In my world, and on my sliding moral scale, bad, unforgivable movies will always trump sticking one’s sausage in a teenager’s cornhole. Call me mad if you wish, but I would have gladly endured a full tilt session of golden showers and cocksucking with Guy Ritchie and dozens of pre-pubescent twits if Swept Away could have been halted in pre-production.
Let us remember, dear readers, that this 13-year-old had visited with Polanski before, submitted willingly to nude photography, and even shared a hot teb session with the Polish director. And unless this young teen was selling Girl Scout cookies or subscriptions to Tiger Beat, she had to know what a visit to a famous Hollywood director’s house would entail. It would be like visiting Bob Evans and not expecting to see his cock at some point in the evening. It may not be acceptable in a post-feminist world to blame the victim as it were, but Roman was only doing what anyone with even a partial ability to achieve erection would do when faced with hot young flesh of the teenage variety. Hell, I’d condemn the man had he instead brought her milk and cookies and tucked her in for the night. This is Roman Polanski, remember, a man who lost his parents in the Holocaust and later his wife and child to the Manson family. The man is entitled to cop a feel now and again, even if our archaic laws forbid the practice. When your wife is stabbed three dozen times and you watch as your unborn child is scraped off the wall, let me know if you react “normally.” Judge not, sanctimonious pricks.