The events in my personal life have completely overshadowed Cannes. My little boy – who is three – genuinely thinks he can fly. He jumps off everything. At my father’s house in the Midlands he regularly kicks away the little ladder leading up to a big trampoline, with the arrogance of a baby Napoleon, and jumps down – rolling in the air and bouncing onto the ground with the elegance of an infant elephant. We keep telling him this is wrong, we tell him off, we prevent him – but when our backs our turned, little Napoleon loves to experience the freedom of gravity. On Friday, just as my wife was getting out of a taxi to join me here, we got the call that he’d broken his leg. Victoria was in Cannes for 20 minutes and took the next flight back. It’s a bad break, and he’s going to be in a bed for up to two weeks and then plaster for eight. Ambulances, morphine and an operation – the full catastrophe. But bones heal, thankfully. They mend. And yes, it could have been worse.
I have now changed my plans and I will leave early. I spoke to Georges Corraface – who plays Uncle Spiros – and who I’m due to meet this weekend before I go – and I explained the situation. With Uncle Spiros wisdom he put my mind at ease and told me that this is part of the learning process. We all have to learn the hard way, adding it’s not the flying part that’s the problem – it’s the landing.
Victoria rings me and asks me what the weather is like – imagining blue skies and palm trees. She spent the first night on the floor next to our boy in a hospital wearing her ‘skimpy’ Cannes gear. I lie to her. It’s raining I tell her. Such heavy rain. I mean – I’ve never experienced anything like it, I say. It’s horrible here. I ask her how our boy is. She pauses and says, he’s doing well. He will be fine, she says – without my conviction about the weather. I then break down and say that I have to go, someone is trying to get through on the line. I’ve been crying a lot in the last 24 hours. I’ve stopped going into Cannes town centre – where all the crowds are. I now go on big walks the other way towards a sleepy harbour, where the boats are not the same as the ones in Cannes but I can imagine their owners better, somehow. Friendly, warmer – with a genuine passion for the sea.
It has been a great couple of days for the film since the screening at the Palais. Deals have happened and are happening. I cannot say what, just yet, as the etiquette here is that deals are announced in the trade press at the end of Cannes. The film is starting its journey and I feel relief that it doesn’t really need me as much as it did before. It has its own life. It’s making new friends. And I have to let it go. My son’s accident has accelerated this attitude in a way I could never have imagined. Let go and let God – are the words of the wise. So I am doing just that.