(Venice) By presenting Coup de Chance, his 50th film and the first in French, at the Venice Film Festival, Woody Allen fulfills a dream of his youth, “to become a European filmmaker”, and thumbs his nose at the American industry which rejected him.

The 87-year-old director is a multi-award-winning master of comedy and social satire who has seen nearly the entire profession turn his back in the US after sexual assault accusations by Dylan Farrow , whom he adopted as a child with his ex-wife Mia Farrow.

Unlike Roman Polanski, whose last film was also presented in Venice in his absence and who has been fleeing American justice for 40 years, after a conviction for illegal sexual relations with a minor, Woody Allen is neither worried nor pursued by courts. And no investigation into sexual assault concerning him was successful.

The director of Annie Hall and Match Point has nevertheless lived on the fringes of the 7th art for several years, hardly ever films in the United States, and has become for some one of the symbols of sexual violence. In theaters, success is no longer there.

His arrival Monday in Venice, to present, out of competition, Coup de Chance, therefore sounds like revenge. He explained in a press conference that he felt like “a true European filmmaker”, making this film, like his models, Truffaut, Godard or Fellini.

Asked about the possibility of shooting again in her city, this New York figure preferred to quip: “If guys come out of the shadows and say OK, we’ll finance your film […] If people are crazy enough” to that, “then I’ll make a movie in New York!” “.

With its French comedy airs in which Woody Allen’s touch shines through, Coup de Chance is a thriller-tinged variation on love and chance, in the beautiful neighborhoods of Paris. The film is in the vein of Match Point.

This is not the first Woody Allen to take place in Paris, where he had already filmed Midnight in Paris, for example, with a French and Anglo-Saxon cast.

But it is the first to be shot entirely in French with French actors. Melvil Poupaud and Lou de Laâge embody a very bourgeois couple. She is going to find a childhood friend (Niels Schneider), but things go wrong when her mother (Valérie Lemercier) suspects their affair.

Filming in French was not difficult, assured Woody Allen, explaining that the actors could speak to him in English. As for directing them, “just with the body language and the emotions of the actors, I can realize if they are fair or not,” he assured. The film is released on September 27 in France.

Before the Woody Allen, festival-goers will have been able to discover Sofia Coppola’s latest film, in competition, dedicated to Priscilla Presley, the only wife of the “King”, which the latter co-produced.

The race for the Golden Lion, which continues in the absence of most of the biggest stars due to the historic strike of actors and screenwriters in Hollywood, is still very open.

Among the favorites of international critics of this 80th Mostra, halfway through, stands out a fantastic film with the American Emma Stone, Pauvres Créatures, by Greek Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favorite).

Also noticed were the Ferrari of Michael Mann, with Adam Driver, or The Beast of Bertrand Bonello, with Léa Seydoux.

On the French side, Stéphane Brizé (Hors-Saison, with Guillaume Canet) and out of competition Quentin Dupieux, crowned by the summer success of his comedy Yannick, are still expected in competition for his latest absurd film, Daaaaaali!.