Last night I went to see Fantastic Mr. Fox at the opening gala of the London Film Festival. For those unfamiliar with Fantastic Mr. Fox it is a children's novel written by Roald Dahl, about a courageous Fox who likes to steal chickens from farms. Wes Anderson, the director of Rushmore and Darjeeling Limited has reinterpreted the kids book as a quirky animated feature. George Clooney voices Mr. Fox, Meryl Streep is Mrs. Fox and Bill Murray is Badger.
It was a bit weird walking up the red carpet and have paparazzi snap me like I'm someone, the elite of the film industry and many of the corporate sponsors of the festival turned out en masse suited and booted to see the film and schmooze about at the afterparty.
I thought the film was charming, funny and incredibly well made and thought out. It must have taken ages to do because stop frame animation is a laborious technique to say the least. Many Roald Dahl books have been brought to life on the screen including Charlie & The Chocolate Factory and James & The Giant Peach, the mix between Wes Anderson, an accomplished screen writer in his own right and Roald Dahl's fantasy world make for entertaining viewing.
After the film there were coaches waiting to take the audience to the afterparty at the Saatchi gallery on the Kings Rd. Sometimes big industry parties can be an awkward, lonely affair if you don't know many people but I was lucky to bump into an old school friend Jessie and her mate. We took full advantage of the free bar, champagne was flowing like water even though apparently were in a recession, we were quick to pursue and slightly harass any waiter seen carrying a tray of canapes. At one point they were carrying around big pieces of steak on sticks, that's what type of party it was.
I met the menswear designer Oswald Boateng, he was pretty cool, and anyone who calls me 'sir' is okay in my book! Unfortunately I didn't get to talk to Bill Murray, he was coming in just as I was going out for a cigerette, but his facial expressions are as funny in real life as in the movies. He did not look best pleased when a gaggle of fans tried to snap him on their camera phones.
I also saw Jamie Callum, the singer who goes out with Sophie Dahl. I'd seen pictures of the couple in the paper where she looks much taller than him. Its not because she's a tall model. Its because the guy is a midget. He could be under five foot, he could shop at baby gap, that short!
A good opening night to the festival. Tonight I'm seeing 'The Men Who Stare At Goat's', come back tomorrow for the latest.