Film director’s Oscars glory

Julianne Moore with Still Alice director Wash Westmoreland. (S)
Julianne Moore with Still Alice director Wash Westmoreland. (S)

A Wetherby film director is celebrating Oscars glory after his leading lady picked up Best Actress at the glittering awards on Sunday.

The star of the film Still Allice, Julianne Moore, added the trophy to her BAFTA and Golden Globe awards.

Former Wetherby High School pupil Paul Westmoreland, known as Wash, co-directed and wrote the adaptation of the Lisa Genova novel about a university professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease with his partner Richard Glatzer.

Mum Margaret McManaman, who lives in Bardsey with her second husband of 35 years Michael, said: “We’re absolutely delighted and hope that he is successful with his next film Collette.

“We got up at 6am on Monday to watch the Oscars on TV but it was mainly the red carpet.

“But he has sent me a beautiful picture of Julianne Moore kissing him on the cheek.”

She added that it was not all glitz and glamour on the night for the 48-year-old who was brought up in Linton and attended Wetherby High from the age of 11.

“His partner Richard has got ALS, like Stephen Hawking, and he had a cardiac arrest a week ago,” she said.

“So Paul went to the hospital to watch the Oscars there with Richard and then went to the Vanity Fair party and Sir Elton John’s party afterwards, to meet promotional demands.

“He said it was the best time he had had for a very long time but he felt guilty about leaving Richard.”

His mum said everybody she has spoken to at premieres, speaks highly of her shy son and in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes Julianne said that Leeds would be proud of Wash.

Leaning towards journalism, Paul began writing and directing films after graduating from Newcastle University.

His 2013 film The Last of Robin Hood’ starred Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon and Dakota Fanning.

Margaret said she will be reunited with her son this weekend, between engagements, as he will be flying over to the UK for the premiere of his film at Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds.

“Paul spent a lot of time in his youth in the area and was determined to have the premiere at Hyde Park,” added Margaret.