September 25, 2023



Venice Premiere of Woody Allen’s ‘Coup de Chance’ Receives Warm Reception Indoors, but Faces Protests Outside

Venice Premiere of Woody Allen’s ‘Coup de Chance’ Receives Warm Reception Indoors, but Faces Protests Outside

Woody Allen’s 50th directorial venture, ‘Coup de Chance,’ basked in an enthusiastic reception during its premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Monday night. The 87-year-old filmmaker received a heartwarming standing ovation that lasted for five minutes, with both Allen and his cast graciously acknowledging the applause from the grand balcony of Venice’s Sala Grande cinema. The film, a French thriller featuring talents like Lou de Laage, Valerie Lemercier, Melvil Poupaud, and Niels Schneider, left a memorable mark on its audience.

However, the atmosphere outside the theatre earlier in the evening was starkly different. A group of approximately 20 protesters took to the streets to voice their opposition against what they perceived as the “rape culture” associated with the Venice festival. They marched past the cinema’s entrance just as Allen was making his way down the red carpet. Amid their chants of “no rape culture” and “we are speaking for those without a voice against the director rapists,” tensions flared. This year’s Venice Film Festival has faced criticism for its inclusion of films from directors accused of sexual assault, with Allen and Roman Polanski, whose new film ‘The Palace’ screened over the weekend, being among the most controversial figures on the festival’s roster.

“Coup de Chance” delves into the profound impact of chance and luck on the course of our lives. The narrative centers around Fanny (portrayed by de Laage) and Jean (embodied by Poupaud), who outwardly appear to be the quintessential married couple. Both accomplished in their respective careers, they reside in a luxurious Parisian apartment nestled in an exclusive neighborhood, and their love appears as passionate as the day they first met. However, when Fanny accidentally crosses paths with Alain (played by Schneider), a former high school classmate, her world takes an unexpected turn as they become increasingly entwined.

During the Venice press conference held earlier in the day, Woody Allen was prompted to reflect on the role of luck, or its absence, in his own life.

“I’ve been exceedingly fortunate throughout my life,” Allen remarked. “I was blessed with loving parents, cherished friendships, a wonderful marriage, and children. I’ve never faced serious health issues or encountered any devastating events.”

He went on to say, “Throughout my lifetime, I’ve received an abundance of praise and garnered significant attention and respect, much of which I feel I didn’t entirely deserve. So, I’ve truly experienced nothing but good fortune, and I hope that streak continues.”

With a touch of humour, Allen added, “Of course, it’s still early this afternoon.”

In recent years, amidst the backdrop of the #MeToo movement and the resurgence of Dylan Farrow’s allegations of abuse, Woody Allen has transitioned from being one of the most celebrated directors and comedians in American cinema to facing challenges securing funding for his projects in the United States. Nevertheless, European audiences and film companies have remained supportive. The inclusion of “Coup de Chance” in the Venice Film Festival marks one of the most significant festival platforms Woody Allen has enjoyed in years. The film is set to hit French theatres through distributor Metropolitan Filmexport on September 27th.

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Jhon Steve