COMIC DRAMA; 1hr 36min (French with subtitles)
STARRING: Lou de Laâge, Melvil Poupaud, Valérie Lemercier, Niels Schneider
Stroke of luck: Poupard and de Laâge
Fanny and Jean Fournier (de Lâage and Poupaud) share a gold-dusted Parisian life. He is a rich man whose job is to make yet more money for people like himself, she works at an elegant auction house and, in theory at least, basks in her partner’s adulation.
Is there any more magical place to be than the Paris of writer-director Woody Allen’s haute bourgeoisie, with its carpets of russet autumn leaves and resplendent light? Make that a maybe for Fanny: Jean is possessive, stuffy, morally dodgy and a glaring contrast to handsome bohemian writer Alain (Schneider), whom she encounters unexpectedly in the street and who has been infatuated with her since their high-school days. Attention, Jean! Fanny is a goner, mesmerised by the lure of freedom. Although her destiny isn’t entirely up to her…
Still manifestly in command of his, Allen is in fine, stylish fettle with his 50th film, whose gilded surfaces mask lethal depths and whose pivotal question — of whether we create our own good fortune or are tossed on the winds of circumstance — is a conundrum for the ages. The cast brings its A-game to the chic intrigue: de Laâge as a skittish wife, Poupaud as her dark-horse husband and Lemercier as Fanny’s sleuthing mother, Camille, put hanky-panky through its paces with a lightness of touch that spells Monsieur Allen in any language.