Gstaad, Switzerland Roman Polanski’s life took a dramatic turn for the better Friday as he traded a Swiss jail for house arrest surrounded by family in his luxury Alpine chalet.
It’s not clear how long this splendid captivity will last — the threat of extradition to the United States and a possible prison term there still hang over the 76-year-old director.
But surely there are worse fates than being stuck in the tony resort of Gstaad, gazing up at the snow-covered Swiss Alps with your wife and two children by your side — especially after two months in a Swiss jail.
Polanski cannot leave the three-story house and its garden while Swiss authorities decide whether to send him to Los Angeles to face sentencing in a 32-year-old sex case.
He will miss the pleasures of walking in the snow, skiing or Christmas shopping on the main street. Still, it’s a vast improvement over his small detention cell in Winterthur, near Zurich, which had only a sink, bed, toilet, television and storage compartment.
In Gstaad, Polanski can organize his days as he likes, working on his films and phoning and e-mailing whenever he wants.
The Oscar-winning director can receive guests or hold parties at the house and order in gourmet meals. He has views of snowcapped Alpine peaks, spacious rooms and all the amenities of a town known for its skill at catering to the wishes of the rich and famous.