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If Coup de Chance does indeed turn out to be Woody Allen’s final movie – as is mooted – then the quality of his first French-language film can only illicit one response: ‘Thank God he’s quitting’.

The first time Woody Allen embarked on a movie not set in New York (2005's Match Point) he produced his best film since his mid-eighties creative masterpieces. With Coup de Chance he makes his first movie not in the English language, but the result might well be the nadir of his entire career.

Coup de Chance definitely is the most boring, slow-moving picture in Allen's filmography, with a plot that can be scribbled on the back of a coaster and takes about half the film to get actually rolling. It's also derivative, uninspired and as memorable as white wallpaper.

Working in another tongue also negatively impacts the dialogues, usually an Allen asset. Those not well-versed in the language of Molière might not notice it, but the on-screen babble is trite, lacks wit and hardly ever moves either plot or characters forward. Even the cast seems uninterested: they rattle off Allen's words far too quickly and without emotion.

It might seem that Allen's biggest problem in recent years has been finding funding for his problems. But Coup de Chance highlights a much more inconvenient truth: he hasn't got a single good idea left in him. Need proof? Just watch Coup de Chance's inept, lazy, infuriatingly awful denouement.

release: 2023

director: Woody Allen

starring: Lou de Laâge, Valérie Lemercier, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Schneider


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