Blu-ray Review: Coup de Chance

STUDIO: MPI | DIRECTOR: Woody Allen | CAST: Lou De Laâge, Valérie Lemercier, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Schneider
RELEASE DATE: May 21, 2024 | PRICE: DVD $17.49, Blu-ray $20.99
SPECS: PG-13 | 93 min. | Crime comedy drama | 2.00:1 | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | French with English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall 

Coup de Chance, Woody Allen’s 50th feature film (or 51st or maybe even 52nd depending on where you stand on What’s Up, Tiger Lily? or New York Stories, a triptych in which he directed one segment), is a French language movie starring French actors that is set in Paris. That said, it’s not unlike a handful of other Allen films from the past two decades in that the its players go through the motions of, well, being in a contemporary Woody Allen movie. Its inhabitants are intelligent, well-off city folk falling in and out of love and lust as they confront existential questions about their own lives as the film’s plot machinations are driven as much by their dreams and desires as they are by fate, luck and coincidence. And as is wont for  a Woody Allen film, sometimes it’s funny and other times, it’s not. But by and large, it’s quite entertaining and definitely one of Woody’s best films in a while.

In Paris, the lovely Fanny (Lou de Laâge, The Innocents) bumps Alain (Niels Schneider, Sibyl), an old high school friend who wastes no time in announcing that he’s always had a crush on her. This slowly leads to the two beginning an [inevitable] affair, which Fanny’s shady and possessive business husband Jean (Melvil Poupaud, Hideaway), soon learns of. It’s not too long before Jean decides to take make a plan to ensure the affair with end—permanently. But his is the kind of plan that never seems to go perfectly, at least not in the movies.

As it plays out, Coup de Chance (translated in English to “stroke of luck”) is reminiscent of Woody’s great Match Point from 2005, though this time around story’s progression into darker territory embodies more of a short story feel: you know there’s going to be a resolutionary twist as it rounds its final lap. And said resolution here is achieved with some lighter moments as it approaches its wrap-up, including a topper to what is essentially an extended mother-in-law joke.

The performances are uniformly fine with the cast of established performers delivering Woody’s dialogue with the kind of cadence we’ve come to expect in one of his movies. (Then again, I don’t speak French, so I can only say that I think it sounds right-on.)

Though not one to be immediately recommended to foreign film aficionados—there are plenty of nifty imported crime flicks for them to check out—Coup de Chance is required viewing for Woody Allen fans and proof that 88-year-old legend still has what it takes to concoct a good Woody Allen movie.

Buy or Rent Coup de Chance

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.