By now you’ve all certainly heard the news that Roman Polanski is a free man, thanks to Switzerland’s decision not to extradite him to the United States to face the criminal justice system regarding his 33-year-old conviction for having unlawful sex with a minor. Now that this chapter in the Polanski personal drama saga appears to be closed, how much damage has been done to the legacy of this Oscar-winning director? Will this scandal forever overshadow all the fine films he’s made? Or will he be known as a filmmaker first, and a statutory rapist second? I can recall being in the Kodak Theatre when Polanski won the Best Director Oscar for The Pianist in 2003, and despite all the renewed interest in the sex case that season, there seemed to be genuine excitement in the auditorium over his victory. But Polanski’s detractors can also be forgiven for thinking he’s a criminal who never really had to pay for his crime.
Where do you all stand? And how do you think, years down the road, people will remember him?: As a director, or as a fugitive? Or both?