A Londoner's Diary; Movie Mogul Charles Finch on Woody Allen's Myopia and the Tricky Task of Dressing Diane Kruger

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 20, 2006 | Go to article overview

A Londoner's Diary; Movie Mogul Charles Finch on Woody Allen's Myopia and the Tricky Task of Dressing Diane Kruger


Byline: CHARLES FINCH

Winter. It hit me last week like a cold slap as we deplaned at rainy Gatwick.

It was 1am. Fast-walking Londoners hustled past me to the immigration line. Go ahead, I thought, hang it on the wall- 'First at immigration, Jan 2006'. First, for a gloomy January! The month that takes a month to get over.

London is not my favourite city at this time of year. After a week of sunshine and walks amid fragrant orange trees at the serene Gazelle d'Or, in Morocco, any urban sprawl would be a tough follow-up.

January is a transition month for me. It's the month before the BAFTAs, and our annual pre-BAFTA party; the month of the Golden Globes, which lead us to the Oscars. The lucky movie folk are on the slopes of Sundance for Robert Redford's film festival. My fellow agents and many of my staff are there, or in Los Angeles, pushing for clients and campaigning for Oscar nominations.

The unlucky ones are stuck with me in Heddon Street with suntans peeling off freckled faces, and Guinot fake tan sticking out of Prada handbags.

Monday was a day of frenzied Golden Globes preparation where we made sure that clients nominated or attending had the right clothes, diamonds or hotels.

One of our clients, Diane Kruger (over for her nominated film Merry Christmas), lugged her Lanvin dress out to LA and, as I write this, we still don't know if she chose jewels from Boucheron, De Beers or Cartier to adorn her neck or something completely different- The Globes are the most fun of the US awards as they are less pressurised than the Oscars, but just as glamorous.

My first full night back was last Saturday. A group of us went to the Curzon Mayfair, my favourite cinema, for Match Point followed by dinner at The Wolseley. Woody Allen, out of New York, felt as out of place as a Manhattan cab on the King's Road. Good for him that he wants to spend more time in our great city, but I think his portrayal of London and British society was myopic to say the least- Incidentally I notice he isn't here in January.

Scarlett Johansson, on the other hand, can do no wrong and neither can The Wolseley. To the astonishment of my friends and my wife Sydney, I devoured sauerkraut and bratwurst, which was still delicious and aromatic several hours later! Izzy Blow, Philip Treacy and several other London luminaries dined late in the splendid room and grudgingly I began feeling happy to be home.

On Tuesday evening my firm hosted a cocktail party for Beretta, the gunmaker, at their new store in St James's. I became involved with the brand when I approached Franco Beretta with the idea of creating a line of 'shooting' clothes and director's chairs for Hollywood. …

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