Travels With JB

Travels With JB

Travel news and reviews

Woody Allen’s latest movie Coup de Chance features many of his favourite themes – fate, love, infidelity and murder.

Niels Schneider (Alain) and Lou de Laâge (Fanny) star in Coup De Chance.

But there’s one big difference, the movie, which is set in Paris, is filmed in French with English subtitles. This is despite Allen “not really speaking French and understanding even less.”

Melvil Poupaud (Jean) and Lou de Laâge (Fanny).

Coup De Chance tells of art gallery worker Fanny (Lou de Laâge) and self-made millionaire Jean (Melvil Poupaud) who appear to be the ideal married couple.

They live in a luxurious apartment in an exclusive neighbourhood of Paris and look to be madly in love.

Niels Schneider (Alain) and Lou de Laâge (Fanny).

That picture is shattered when Fanny bumps into Alain (Niels Schneider) a former class mate turned author now writing a book in Paris.  Alain admits to having a crush on Fanny when they were at school together. Fanny vaguely remember Alain and agrees to have lunch with him.  More catch-ups turn into a serious relationship between the two.

As a result of the affair Fanny starts to question her life with Jean. At first attracted to him due to the stability he offered as a result of her previous marriage to a bohemian drug dealer, she realises his lifestyle is not what she wants. She much prefers Alain’s bohemian ways to those of Jean’s which often involve hanging out with his equally wealthy friends, many of whom see Fanny as a trophy wife. Weekends in the country with his friends shooting deer and the expensive jewellery Jean buys her also provide little joy.

Melvil Poupaud (Jean) and Lou de Laâge (Fanny).

Fanny has also ignored comments from some of his friends that Jean’s successful business – which he describes as making rich people richer – benefited greatly from the sudden disappearance of his partner.

Realising something is amiss with his wife’s behaviour the domineering and controlling Jean hires a private detective agency to follow her.  It doesn’t take long for the agency to discover she is having an affair with Alain.

Having declared her love for Alain, Fanny is shocked to find his apartment has been cleared out. She believes he suddenly developed cold feet about their relationship and has left Paris. Heartbroken, her behaviour raises the concerns of her mother Camille (Valérie Lemercier) who Fanny eventually confides in.

Valérie Lemercier (Camille) and Lou de Laâge (Fanny).

While at first accepting Fanny’s belief that Alain left of his own free will Camille becomes more suspicious especially when she learns of Jean’s former partner’s suspicious disappearance.

On discovering her investigation into Alain’s disappearance Jean has a plan to stop Camille.  The result of that plan isn’t what he expects – but ensures the movie lives up to the English translation of Coup de Chance – Stroke of Luck.

Luck – or the role of chance in life and the ironic situations that often arise –is at the centre of the movie.

Valérie Lemercier (Camille) and Melvil Poupaud (Jean).

Given the language challenges of making the movie with the script Allen wrote in English, the actors all do a great job in bringing their characters to life.

Poupaud is totally believable as a controlling, shady businessman while de Laâge expertly conveys her character’s wide-ranging emotions.  Lemercier is enjoyable to watch especially when she starts investigating.

Thanks to the work of the actors, a script that involves a number of twists and turns and a running time of 96 minutes, Coup de Chance offers a fast moving, occasionally surprising and entertaining movie experience.

Coup de Chance  opens in cinemas on Boxing Day.

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