I have no problem separating the artist as a person and as an artist so yes - The Pianist is one of the most amazing moves I've ever seen. It has nothing to do with the fact that Polanski's actions were criminal and he should face the punishment of the law whatever it may be. You know - child rape being heinous and universally despised. Right? Right?
There is a petition against the treatment of Polanski, signed by a lot of luminaries (Scorcese, Wong Kar Wai, Salman Rushdie, why why why?) which is all about how he is being prosecuted because of a case of morals
A CASE OF MORALS???
You have got to be frakking kidding me.
A case of morals is when two people who are capable of consent do consent to some activities the state views as immoral - whether because they are gay, unmarried, adulterous, polyamorous, related within prohibited degree etc and the state in question views such activities as immoral.*
* I don't have a problem with any of the above, just using a hypothetical.
I could have even conceivably understood where they were coming from if Polanski and his victim had consensual sex - if statutory rape was the only thing at issue, though in what UNIVERSE is it OK for a grown man to have sex with a 13-year-old child????!!!!
BUT GUESS WHAT, douchebags signing the petition - IT WAS NOT CONSENSUAL. That's right - what he did would be just as illegal and just as criminal if she was 40 instead of 13 - he drugged her and got her drunk and as even after all of that she still said no repeatedly, he raped her.
I cannot possibly see how it could be more of a rape no matter how you slice it.
So - are you saying rape of little children is a case of morals? FUCK YOU.
Don't even get me started on the excuses. They are either irrelevant (yes, yes, he is a genius - does it mean that geniuses above the law) or are pertinent to sentencing and not guilt (his advanced age, lack of other complaints, his horrible life, judicial misconduct - they all have their role in the sentencing - I don't care if on balance the judge finds he shouldn't serve any time in prison - all that has nothing to do with his GUILT or the fact that he has to go through judicial process).
And don't get me started on the whole "the victim wants them to let it go" stuff - once again, maybe pertinent to sentencing. But the reason we have laws is in part to protect/avenge a particular victim and in part to send a societal message that certain actions (such as CHILD RAPE) are not allowed. Seriously, according to the logic of 'victim says to let it go, so we should' anyone who robs a nun or beats up a Buddhist monk shouldn't face any punishment because the holy orders are big on forgiveness.
I honestly don't care if they drag him back or not - LA doesn't have unlimited resources and the scads of money and time they are going to spend fighting for extradition of an old guy who hasn't been anywhere near their area and committing crimes in it for over 30 years could be better spent fighting on a dozen cases which could remove from the streets still LA-dwelling current offenders of various sorts which have the means and desire to commit a future crime in the area.
BUT. BUT. That is a utilitarian argument. It's not "poor mistreated genius, how misunderstood and persecuted you are!" Nothing would make what Polanski did right. Nothing.
Hollywood etc often have "values" I do not agree with (hello Sean Penn and his partying up with Hugo Chavez) but it has never been as stark as this. You know how people love to wallow in right-wing hypocricy? That's right - many right-winders are hypocrites, espousing family values while cavorting with mistresses, prostitutes, or male lovers. Guess what - this proves hypocricy is universal - look at all those major liberals, who claim they have so much respect for women's rights etc - yeah, yeah, it all applies until it's one of their own. Never mind that he raped a child. I think whatever your social and political position, once you get to a certain level of power, you just begin to feel rules don't apply to you and your friends.
Oh,and a last point - oh, he didn't like the punishment so he ran - after all, it was going to be eleven billion years in prison, poor baby. Nice to know that you only face the punishment if it appeals to you. Next time I get a parking ticket, I won't pay it - $100 is too much, in my opinion, so tough luck, parking authorities - if I don't agree, the law is invalid.