Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Exclusive: Woody Allen Going to MARS? French Distributor Trying to Make Deal for “Rainy Day in New York” Despite Amazon Lawsuit


Woody Allen has always been popular in France. So this EXCLUSIVE report makes sense,

I am told that MARS Films, Woody’s long time Drench distributor, is trying to make deal to release “A Rainy Day in New York” in France.

The movie, starring Timothee Chalamet, Jude Law, Rebecca Hall, and Elle Fanning among others, has been sidelined by Allen’s problems with Amazon. Ready for release, “Rainy Day” got caught in the #MeToo movement– inaccurately. The result was Amazon deciding unilaterally not to release the newest film by one of our greatest auteurs.

Consequently, Allen has sued Amazon for $68 million for failing to release “Rainy” and finish their deal which included four more films.

MARS, run by Stephane Célérier, has been Woody’s French distributor for years. Even if a small Allen film doesn’t do well in America, the French are his ardent admirers. Last year, Celerier wrote a long essay in a French magazine supporting Allen.

He wrote: “I have been shocked by the wave of hate provoked by the Woody Allen affair, particularly in the United States and on the social networks, and by the lack of rigor by certain media outlets and the pack which condemns without looking into the full facts.”

Célérier said it was time “to examine the facts with attention…That is the approach I have decided to take. Simply to get to the bottom of the truth, to understand whether I’ve been working closely with a paedophile all these years.”

“He has always in my eyes been a man of incredible intelligence as well as discreet and courteous. But his talent and his effervescent creativity don’t make a saint. The admiration I have for the man and the cineaste is real but have not influenced the steps I have taken to ask questions.”

“It seems clear to me that Woody Allen should not be classified in the same category as the sexual predators recently denounced by Hollywood and end his days as a pariah whose work should be burned,” he wrote.

“But it seems complicated today, impossible even, to stand-up for Woody Allen’s innocence without prompting violent reactions and accusations that I am sacrificing the rights of women for economic gain.”

We can debate the whole Woody-Mia saga forever. But the facts are, Woody was cleared of everything. Nothing happened. Mia Farrow has waged a PR war with him since 1992. Then her son with Woody, Ronan Farrow, who was 5 years old at the time, picked up the baton. He has been hypnotized by his mother into believing everything she says. He probably thinks Frank Sinatra is his father.

I really hope “Rainy Day” gets released in France and other smart territories abroad. If Célérier can make his deal, he will have to withstand crazy backlash PR. But I think the French are more open minded.

One last thing: every single #MeToo perpetrator has been accused by multiple victims. The only case to ever follow Woody is just this one, which was alleged during a custody battle. That’s it. And meanwhile, Mia Farrow’s brother, John, continues to serve time in a Maryland prison, convicted of actual child molestation. Mia has never addressed that subject.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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