Monday, May 19, 2014

Film Festival Fabulousness

It's been a whirlwind few weeks. Superyachts in Antibes and Genoa were swiftly followed by surfing, eating and cycling (eating definitely ruled) in Forte dei Marmi and book signings for Breathing Out in the UK, after which I barely had time to draw breath before it was Cannes Film Festival.

I can't do justice to Genoa and Forte dei Marmi here so I will return to my favourite subject of eating and drinking my way around Italy in a future post as I took it upon myself to seek out some phenomenal restaurants as the scales in my bathroom can now attest.

Signing books in the UK last week, I met an amazing and inspirational bunch of women all with their own stories to tell. Simone, my lovely nutritionist, came along and we met for the first time as thus far, all my consultations with her have been on Skype, 1,000 miles apart. That was emotional but nothing could prepare me for the signing after my talk, when many of the guests came up one at a time to share their experiences with me.

One, a bubbly, vibrant force of nature who is younger than me, told me she is fighting advanced bowel cancer. She is in the middle of chemotherapy but you would never know it to talk to her or look at her. There's not one ounce of negative energy about her.

Another guest revealed that she has lost one sister to breast cancer and her younger sister is currently fighting it too. She faces the prospect of being tested for the BRCA gene. Both said they couldn't wait to read my book and I felt humbled by the fact that they shared so much with me.

Tonight, I received an email from Jane, who told me how much she enjoyed the book. I've never met Jane and to get an email from a stranger saying thank you is a wonderful thing. Enjoyed may be the the wrong word to use, as she has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and is now in that awful limbo of waiting to find out exactly what happens next. I remember it well. She said she is feeling positive for the first time since diagnosis and is taking the book to show her Macmillan nurse.

Their reactions have reinforced my aim to get Breathing Out into every breast care centre in the UK, and then France, if I can get it translated, then goddammit, I'm going to go for world domination.

But before that I need to get through Cannes Film Festival. It kicked off last week with Grace of Monaco, which went down like a lead balloon with the critics for its mawkishly sentimental retelling of the marriage of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly. In fact, you can read all about it in my report in this week's edition of Hello magazine. The parties are in full swing with amfAR the hot ticket on Thursday (ahem yes, I will be going, somebody has to and it might as well be me.)

My big dilemma is what to wear alongside the A listers who have every major league designer and jeweller at their disposal. I feel Sarah Millican's pain as my wardrobe is more Havaianas and halter neck sundresses than LBDs and Louboutins. I have hit on a plan however and asked to borrow the dress I bought Liv for her birthday which she wore to the brilliant Belvedere Rita Ora gig last Friday. I figure she owes me BIGTIME for that invitation and a borrowed Tara Jarmon number will do nicely.

So far the award for most random question at a press conference goes to a German TV journalist who asked Tim Roth (Prince Rainier in Grace of Monaco): 'Was there a moment when you felt like hitting Nicole Kidman?' And most overblown ego award (lots of competition for this one) has to go to the unknown male guest at the Calvin Klein Collection/Independent Filmmaker Project party who told his date:‘That’s Julianne Moore. She’s lovely. I KNOW HER.’

Part two next week....