Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Roman Polanski in a Different Kind of Stew


At the center of Daniele Thompson’s delightful comedy of manners, “Change of Plans,” a hit at the 2009 Rendez-Vous with French Cinema, is a dinner attended annually on June 21, World Music Day, by the same –more or less– collection of characters.

On Tuesday, after IFC’s special screening, Thompson’s longtime friend Diane von Furstenberg and husband Barry Diller hosted a dinner at DVF’s studio in the Meatpacking district.

“I am so happy she offered. Diane makes these wonderful dinners,” said Thompson when I spoke to her earlier that day. Fortunately, the menu did not include the “bigos,” of the film, an old time Polish recipe credited to Roman Polanski.

“Every people has this kind of stew,” said Thompson. “The kind of dish where you throw everything in: leftovers, meat, cabbage, and so on. Roman Polanski, who is a friend, made it for me.”

In “Change of Plans,” the husband, who is Polish, busily prepares this signature dish. Thompson’s son Christopher who acts in this ensemble piece and also co-wrote the script with his mother said that Polanski’s wife, the actress Emmanuelle Seigner who plays Sarah, kept complaining on the set: “Roman’s tastes so much better.”

And how is he doing? “People think it is so easy to be confined in a Swiss ski house, but really, he cannot go out to have a cup of coffee. He is suffering,” said Christopher.

In the meantime in New York, Stephen Sondheim, Fran Lebowitz, Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein, Ann Dexter-Jones, Frederic Tuten, and many others supped on two kinds of pasta, two kinds of salad, and desserts by the sublime Sant Ambroeus.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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