The week before The Oscars can be a great deal of fun.

One really doesn’t expect to pay for anything to eat as one can survive on huge amount of free food given away (largely wasted) at various events all over town: breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Yesterday was no exception.

I have been preoccupied with my legal situation so I hadn’t really put much effort into RSVPing or bothering to find parties etc.

Do you know who Deepak Varma is?  He played Sanjay on Eastenders, a British soap.  He’s an old friend from London and we always have great fun whenever he arrives in LA.  He has found success at home producing and writing theatre, making movies and getting married.

Filling his life with exciting possibilities.

He’s also working with disgraced ex Prime Minister Tony Blair and Lord Putnam on a project Deepak initiated called Faith Shorts.

Faith Shorts is a global film competition launched by the Tony Blair Faith Foundation that provides young people with the opportunity to express their faith through film.  

Anyway, he drove to Malibu yesterday for breakfast, primarily to discuss the play I’m writing about The Men’s County Jail.

You know…I haven’t even bothered to think about theatre for years, so it was really thrilling to sit with him and brainstorm.  I ‘d forgotten what it was to sit with anyone and act out an entire play and for them to react so positively.  How this meeting with Deepak contrasted with my meeting a film producer the day before.  Lackluster, bored, unfocused.  All the time I sat with the film guy my mind was elsewhere.

I just don’t have the energy to think about film.

After our long, creative breakfast that ran into an equally productive lunch we pulled on our glad rags and headed over to Hancock Park for the first of that afternoons/evenings pre-Oscar events.

The British Consul-General 

Dame Barbara Hay 

requests the pleasure of your company 

at a cocktail reception 

celebrating the British Oscar® nominees 

of the 2012 Academy Awards® 

The residence of the British Consul-General on June Street was the temporary home of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their recent sojourn in Los Angeles.  It is a large, Spanish revival affair, moorish details, manicured lawns, heated pool and art from the national collection hung randomly around the sparsely decorated interior.

Two rather lovely Howard Hodgkins hung in the drawing-room.

The food was British: Yorkshire pudding and beef pieces with horseradish cream etc.

There were rickety tables set up with fancy British cheeses and chocolate.  The garden had been lit with red white and blue lamps.  Projected on the wall were the words GREAT and in a smaller font the word Britain.  Deepak and I wandered around chatting with old friends, Stephen Daldry and his wife Lucy Sexton arrived with their 8-year-old daughter who was ‘cold and bored’.

I told them that I had been in jail. In fact, I told many people I had been in jail.

What do you expect?

I told Jeremy Hunt, The Secretary of State that I had been in jail.  I told Dame Barbara Hay that I had been in jail.  I told her how impossible it had been to reach the consulate.  She handed me her card and told me to call and share my experience.

I didn’t tell Gary Oldman I had been in jail.  I didn’t tell Julia Ormond.  I didn’t tell Victoria Beckham (sans David).  I didn’t tell Christopher Plummer I had been in jail. I didn’t tell the man who runs Virgin Galactic.  I didn’t tell the Christian intern working for the British Consulate.

Victoria didn’t look very happy.  She posed for the cameras, this odd long pose, contorting her body, her hand on her hip, her face angled toward the floor, her eyes looking upward toward the camera.

Jeremy Hunt gave a weak speech about his role as minister for culture and how important it was and (randomly) how the film Philadelphia had altered perceptions about HIV and AIDS.  He obviously knew nothing about the film industry.  He was, however, ‘very excited’ to tell us all about The Queen’s Jubilee and how it was only the second time in British history that a British Monarch had sat on the throne for 60 years.

He was incidentally ‘very excited’ about The Olympic Games.

The Brits who lived here suddenly remembered why they live here when he started waxing about The Monarchy.

Deepak collared Hunt after the speech and demanded to know why the same people who administered the lottery funding at The Film Council now administered the funds at the BFI?   He had rehearsed replies for Deepak.  He told us that the Brits made too many ‘art films’.  So, we talked about arts funding in the UK.

I reminded him that the hit show Warhorse would never have seen the light of day if hadn’t been for the subsidized arts.  He said, “That’s a very good example.” Fearing we were being too confrontational his American PR attempted to drag him away.  My hand on his shoulder, I told her that we were the people who elected Jeremy Hunt and paid his wages.   He looked perplexed.

Stopped in at Starbucks to meet a beautiful Brazilian boy I had met online.  More of that later.

The Warner party was fun.  Stephen Daldry and Lucy, Max von Sydow, Leonardo DiCaprio, delicious food.

Jeff Robinov (President of Warner Brothers Pictures) said, “What were you doing in jail?”  So I told the story again.  He behaved like he already knew me, then I realized that I had met him with Sharon yonks ago.  When I told Stephen more about the last few months of incarceration he looked sort of dumbfounded.

The Brazilian joined us after we left Warner.  He kissed me outside Serra Towers.

I was too exhausted to schlep over to the Ari Emmanuel’s party.  So we drove home with the Little Dog on my lap…replete.