After stating that Woody Allen‘s Coup de Chance had not been officially submitted to the festival, Cannes topper Thierry Fremaux has revealed in a Le Figaro interview (page 33) that he did see it unofficially.

Fremaux also said — this is a real shocker — that even if it had been officially submitted he might have had reservations because showing it would rip the festival apart into pro- and anti-Woody camps.

Fremaux: “The Polanski, we have not seen it. The Woody Allen, it’s a bit special. I saw it without seeing it. The film was not a candidate. We also know that if his film was shown at Cannes controversy would take over the fest, both against him and against the other movies.”

Was this Fremaux conveying what he himself is actually fearful of, or was he sharing the view of the Woody camp? Either way this is flat-out cowardice. The statement essentially says “there will be too many Woody haters attending the festival, and there are serious concerns about the spectacle of the festival being convulsed by Woody hate vs. Woody defenders.”

Imagine if the Cannes Film Festival had voiced similar concerns about showing Michelangelo Antonioni‘s L’Avventura and wimped out? After screening that classic film in May 1960, it drew howls of derision. Ditto, in 1977, Marguerite Duras‘s The Truck (Le Camion) — following the Cannes showing, “Duras stood atop a flight of stairs while a crowd yelled insults at her.” Or Vincent Gallo‘s problematic but certainly brave The Brown Bunny, which screened in Cannes 20 years ago? Or, a year earlier, Gaspar Noe‘s Irreversible, which would almost certainly not be screened now due to squeamishness about the #MeToo community.

And Allen’s film, to judge from earlybird reactions posted by Showbiz 411‘s Roger Friedman and resturateur Keith McNally, is hardly an envelope pusher but a tart and crafty 90-minute noir about infidelity and murder.

Ten years ago Fremaux and the Cannes Film Festival would have been delighted to screen Coup de Chance. Now they’re letting the woke banshees control things, at least in this instqnce.

(Thanks for World of Reel‘s Jordan Ruimy for providing the Le Figaro link.)