Woody Allen’s ‘Coup de Chance’ Ignites Protests and Enthusiastic Standing Ovation at Venice Premiere

Woody Allen received a three-minute standing ovation at the Venice premiere of “Coup de Chance” on Monday night, which would have gone on longer had the filmmaker not started to exit. After two minutes and 30 seconds of sustained applause once the film finished, Allen began to make his way toward the door, cutting the standing ovation short. The filmmaker looked visibly moved during the reaction and at one point took out a tissue.

Allen was greeted in the theater by a standing ovation before the movie even screened as fans tried to catch video of him. The reception was the same on the red carpet, with fans cheering him on enthusiastically — however, just outside the carpet a group of protesters walked by. According to social media posts, the protesters removed their shirts and handed out sheets of paper encouraging the fest to “turn the spotlight off of rapists.”

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“This year the Biennale Venice Film Festival has decided to give space to Woody Allen, Luc Besson and Roman Polanski, three directors involved in sexual violence against women, including minors,” the note added, according to the posts.

In an exclusive interview with Variety ahead of the film’s world premiere, Allen teased that “Coup de Chance,” his 50th feature, might be his last as he is growing tired of hustling to secure financial backing for his projects.

“I have so many ideas for films that I would be tempted to do it, if it was easy to finance,” he said. “But beyond that, I don’t know if I have the same verve to go out and spend a lot of time raising money.”

Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman called “Coup de Chance” Allen’s best movie since “Blue Jasmine” in his review out of Venice, adding, “The film has a jaunty tone of deadpan glee, abetted by its soundtrack of ’60s and ’70s jazz standards. It’s not a comedy, but as you watch it you can almost see Woody Allen standing off to side, chuckling at the human folly he’s showing you.”

Written and directed by Allen, “Coup de Chance” is a French-language thriller in the vein of “Match Point” that follows a beautiful couple living in Paris come undone by the arrival of a former flame. The cast includes Lou de Laage, Valerie Lemercier, Melvil Poupaud and Niels Schneider.

“Coup de Chance” is Allen’s first directorial effort since 2020’s “Rifkin’s Festival,” which did not have a proper theatrical release in North America, nor did his 2019 comedy “A Rainy Day in New York,” which featured starry talent like Timothee Chalamet, Selena Gomez and Elle Fanning. Theatrical distributors in the U.S. have largely avoided Allen since the #MeToo movement resurfaced Dylan Farrow’s allegations of child molestation against him.

As Variety reported before the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, “Coup de Chance” landed French distribution through Metropolitan FilmExport. There had been rumors that Allen was eyeing the Cannes Film Festival for a premiere for the movie, but Venice ended up taking the title instead. Allen previously described “Coup de Chance” as a “poisonous romantic thriller.”

“Coup de Chance” currently does not have U.S. distribution.

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