Coup de Chance (2023) Venice Film Festival 2023

September 5th, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir|Wri: Woody Allen | Cast: Melvil Poupaud, Lou de Laâge, Niels Schnieder, Valerie Lemercier | US Comedy Drama, 90’

Woody Allen is back. Coup de Chance, his latest comedy drama, is also his first in a foreign language. Not bad for an 87 year old director. But wait a minute? How will he do the funnies in French? Well you’ll be pleased to know he pulls it off in a dazzling coup de grace (this could be his last film, we are are told) thanks to the comedy talents of Melvil Poupaud with a twinkle in his eye, Woody blends romance with drole humour in a noirish jaunt centring, comme d’habitude, on a menage a trois.

Paris glows in Vittorio Storaro’s autumn tints. Financier Poupaud (Jean ) and Lou de Laâge (Fanny) are a glamorous young couple enjoying a beau monde existence: a slick 7ieme apartment and a country house for weekend shoots. She is bohemian and feckless, he is more ‘bon chic bon genre’ with his dapper suits, state of the art train set and a penchant for getting his own way. But he buys her trinkets from Cartier and they seem to be in love. So what could go wrong?. Well Fanny bumps into an old school friend Alain (Schneider), a poet (and the only decent character) and falls for his lyrical charm. Woody’s classic themes once again rear their heads: fate, infidelity, murder and a wicked mother-in-law, whose meddling will bring the house down.

Coup de Chance moves along briskly each scene an enjoyable gem, Woody seems to edit as he goes along and there is nothing spare in this delicious drama with its needling tension and upbeat jazz score from Herbie Hancock. If this is Woody’s curtain call to say goodbye he deserves a long round of applause. MT



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