Jordan Ruimy is reporting today what most of us have been presuming all along.
One, widespread Stalinist obstinacy about Woody Allen‘s alleged guilt in the 31 year-old matter of Frog Hollow has all but eliminated any possibility of Allen’s Coup de Chance finding a U.S. distributor.
And two, the chances of Coup de Chance being favorably reviewed by U.S. film critics at the Venice Film Festival are fairly low, given the fact that critics are no longer “allowed” to give his movies a fair shake.
So given the near-certainty that (a) many American critics are going to slag Coup de Chance despite reports that it’s one of his better films, (b) the fact that it won’t be playing Telluride, Toronto or New York because their respective programmers are terrified of being condemned for showing Allen’s French-language film, and (c) the fact that many on the Woody side of the fence (i.e., critics and columnists who are highly skeptical of the Clinton-era allegations against Allen) won’t be attending the Venice Film Festival…
Given all this doesn’t it make sense from Allen’s strategic perspective to allow these opinion-sharers a chance to see it prior to Venice, either via a NYC screening or a special link?
You’d certainly think so, but with roughly three weeks to go before the Venice Film Festival there’s nothing shaking in the Woody camp.
Over the last several weeks I’ve twice written Allen’s sister Letty Aronson, with whom I’ve exchanged emails and whom I interviewed at Shutters several years ago, about my interest in wanting to see Coup de Chance prior to its Venice Film Festival debut. I was hoping she might steer me to someone charged with arranging screenings or sending out links.
With Woody’s former publicist Leslee Dart retired and knowing that Roger Friedman and Keith McNally saw the film last April in NYC, reaching out to Letty seemed reasonable. Alas, total flatline from her end. A friend tells me Letty “has someone” who works with her, etc. But it’s like they’ve taken a vow of omerta.
It seems inconceivable that Woody and/or his reps wouldn’t be open to showing the film to friendlies and neutrals prior to Venice. I’m a regular Telluride attendee, but of course that festival’s honcho, Julie Huntsinger, isn’t “allowed” to show Coup de Chance in the same sense that Thierry Fremaux wasn’t “allowed” to show it during last May’s Cannes Film Festival. In response Coup de Chance dp Vittorio Storaro called the Cannes shut-out appalling and deplorable (“They’ve lost all common sense“).