Sunday, May 19, 2024

Oscars: Woody Allen Could Wind Up with Best International Feature for Sensational “Coup de Chance” Made in French, Set in Paris


(Exclusive) Woody Allen’s 50th film is in French, shot in France, and has only French actors. I’ve seen it. The irony is that after a long and legendary career as a humorist and wordsmith, Woody could wind up with an Oscar for Best International Feature.

The 90 minute film, shot by the great Vittorio Storaro, is one of Woody’s best. I can’t say it’s a murder mystery, exactly, but it’s the story of a murder that takes place outside of Paris. Woody is 86 years old. The screenplay is as sharp as “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” which he made 34 years ago. It also has a surprise twist that no one who sees it can give away. The movie ends with a gasp.

“Coup de Chance” — its French title — stars Lou de Laâge, a hot French actress who speaks English I am told. This is a breakout role for her on the world stage. Her husband in the film is played by four time Cesar Award nominee Melvil Poupaud, France’s hottest leading man. There’s also Valérie Lemercier, this past year’s Cesar Best Actress, who will get an Oscar nomination out of this if things work out.

I watched this film with a few people who I think were in distribution. I can tell you the air in the room was filled with suspense. I was on the edge of my seat worrying about certain characters. And yes, there is humor. If you pay attention, Woody throws in some lines that lighten up the mood.

As the French say: “Super!”

PS Look for “Coup de Chance” to be included in the Cannes Film Festival. It seems an obvious choice. The French love Woody, and he’s given them an incredible gift.

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.

Read more

In Other News