A few words about…™ – Coup de Chance — in Blu-ray

Coup de Chance Blu ray screenshot for Review
If one knew anything about the history of cinema over the past half century, and screened the recently released French film Coup de Chance, said viewer might be thinking…

Interesting homage to Woody Allen.

And they’d be incorrect, as it’s pure Allen, and one of his finest films over the past twenty years or so.

A romanic thriller with a cast not terribly known to domestic audiences, a jazz score, meticulously photographed by the great Vittorio Storaro in hues reminiscent of silent era tints, and typically Allenesque dialogue that occasionally moves faster than the sub-titles can keep up.

A storyline, with nods to Brief Encounter, Indiscreet and others, that seems to turn on a dime from innocent meet and greet to dangerous interlude to dark thriller.

One of the interesting things here is that it’s being released via MPI, a definite indie, as one must presume that majors are fearful of retribution. And if that’s the case, it’s more than a pity, as Mr. Allen is one of the top filmmakers of the generation.

As noted, color may have some scratching heir heads or wondering if it’s been restored by an entity known for bold yellow skies, but that’s not the case. These are Mr. Storaro’s colors.

They’re seldom without a tint, ranging from lovely warm exteriors to the extreme, cold interiors to the extreme. It’s quite a ride, and try to keep track as you might with the silent cinema. Let’s see… day, night, candle-lit…

Absolutely worth your time, as long as you either speak French or are quick reader.

Interestingly, 2.00:1 was selected as aspect ratio for the digitally shot film.

Image

Forensic – 10

NSD – 10

Audio – 10 ( DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors – Yes

Worth your attention – 9

Slipcover rating – n/a

Highly Recommended

RAH

Robert has been known in the film industry for his unmatched skill and passion in film preservation. Growing up around photography, his first home theater experience began at age ten with 16mm. Years later he was running 35 and 70mm at home.

His restoration projects have breathed new life into classic films like Lawrence of Arabia, Vertigo, My Fair Lady, Spartacus, and The Godfather series. Beyond his restoration work, he has also shared his expertise through publications, contributing to the academic discourse on film restoration. The Academy Film Archive houses the Robert A. Harris Collection, a testament to his significant contributions to film preservation.

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Sultanofcinema

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Joseph Barrett
If one knew anything about the history of cinema over the past half century, and screened the recently released French film Coup de Chance, said viewer might be thinking...

Interesting homage to Woody Allen.

And they'd be incorrect, as it's pure Allen, and one of his finest films over the past twenty years or so.

A romanic thriller with a cast not terribly known to domestic audiences, a jazz score, meticulously photographed by the great Vittorio Storaro in hues reminiscent of silent era tints, and typically Allenesque dialogue that occasionally moves faster than the sub-titles can keep up.

A storyline, with nods to Brief Encounter, Indiscreet and others, that seems to turn on a dime from innocent meet and greet to dangerous interlude to dark thriller.

One of the interesting things here is that it's being released via MPI, a definite indie, as one must presume that majors are fearful of retribution. And if that's the case, it's more than a pity, as Mr. Allen is one of the top filmmakers of the generation.

As noted, color may have some scratching heir heads or wondering if it's been restored by an entity known for bold yellow skies, but that's not the case. These are Mr. Storaro's colors.

They're seldom without a tint, ranging from lovely warm exteriors to the extreme, cold interiors to the extreme. It's quite a ride, and try to keep track as you might with the silent cinema. Let's see... day, night, candle-lit...

Absolutely worth your time, as long as you either speak French or are quick reader.

Interestingly, 2.00:1 was selected as aspect ratio for the digitally shot film.


Image

Forensic - 10
NSD - 10

Audio – 10 ( DTS-HD MA 5.1)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Worth your attention - 9

Slipcover rating - n/a

Highly Recommended

RAH
Agree 100%, Woody is and will always be remembered as one of the top filmmakers of my generation (The Front, Crimes And Misdemeanors, Match point, Annie Hall).
 

Jeff Fearnside

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Interestingly, 2.00:1 was selected as aspect ratio for the digitally shot film.
Not surprising, given that Vittorio Storaro was the cinematographer--this is his ideal ratio, of course, part of his "Univision" system, which it appears he must now have created a digital counterpart. Interesting indeed. I'm perfectly fine with this for newly shot films. When he goes back and edits films previously shot in other aspect ratios and chops them to 2.00:1, well... Let's just say that as an artist he has the right to do that, but as a consumer, I have the right not to like it. :)

It's great to hear Allen's latest is up to RAH's snuff!
 

Robert Harris

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Not surprising, given that Vittorio Storaro was the cinematographer--this is his ideal ratio, of course, part of his "Univision" system, which it appears he must now have created a digital counterpart. Interesting indeed. I'm perfectly fine with this for newly shot films. When he goes back and edits films previously shot in other aspect ratios and chops them to 2.00:1, well... Let's just say that as an artist he has the right to do that, but as a consumer, I have the right not to like it. :)

It's great to hear Allen's latest is up to RAH's snuff!
I’m one of those who finds Last Emperor greatly damaged at the cropped ratio. I find it nearly unwatchable.
 

titch

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Kevin Oppegaard
Good that you reviewed this. I was thinking earlier that the previous blu-ray announcement should maybe have read "Woody Allen's Coup de Chance", as few people in the USA - or indeed, anywhere else - are aware of this release. Even after the reviews at the Venice Film Festival last year were very positive, no major distributor has picked it up.
 

Robert Harris

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Good that you reviewed this. I was thinking earlier that the previous blu-ray announcement should maybe have read "Woody Allen's Coup de Chance", as few people in the USA - or indeed, anywhere else - are aware of this release. Even after the reviews at the Venice Film Festival last year were very positive, no major distributor has picked it up.
I couldn’t be more pleased that MPI took a chance and supported this film.
 

lark144

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mark gross
I just saw it the other night. Loved it and also appreciated your "few words".

I think it's one of Woody Allen's finest, as well as immensely entertaining and engrossing. Also a gorgeous Blu-ray.

And yes, the 2:00:1 aspect ratio doesn't bother me in the least where COUP DE CHANCE is concerned, but when it comes to THE LAST EMPEROR, I also find it unwatchable. It particularly rankles for me, as the film played the cinema I managed back in the day, and i remember how appropriately the original aspect ratio filled the screen. Fortunately, Arrow has released a UHD in the correct aspect ratio.

BTW, There's a youtube video from the Venice Film Festival last year, in which Mr. Allen says he's always admired classic French films--he specifically mentions Renoir and Truffaut--and wanted to make one of his own, and this was his opportunity.

I would amend that to read, Woody Allen in the French style. It seems Mr. Allen has not only seen a lot of movies, he remembers them all--from FOOLISH WIVES to THE CRIME OF M LANG to CELINE ET JULIE and incorporates them into his sensibility.
 
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