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Wild Grass

3.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A wallet lost and found opens the door – slightly - to Georges and Marguerite’s romantic adventure. After finding a red wallet and examining the ID of it’s owner, it is not a simple matter for Geroges to turn it into the police. Nor can Marguerite retrieve her wallet without being piqued with curiosity about the person who found it. As they navigate the social protocols of giving and acknowledging thanks, turbulence enters their lives. WILD GRASS is based on the novel “L’incident” by French novelist Christian Gailly.

Amazon.com

France's Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad) has been subverting audience expectations for six decades, and Wild Grass proves no exception. Flame-haired Marguerite (the director's partner, Sabine Azéma) sets the story in motion when she buys a pair of designer heels. Moments later, a thief steals her yellow handbag (cinematographer Éric Gautier makes the most of this primary-color palette). While entering a parking garage that night, Georges Palet (André Dussollier) finds a billfold devoid of money. The pilot's license, however, inflames his imagination. Hesitant to contact this formidable woman, a dentist by trade, he hands the matter over to Bernard (Mathieu Amalric), the country's most impatient cop. When Marguerite calls to thank him, Georges complains that she isn't sufficiently grateful. Later, he apologizes, then starts calling daily and sending letters. Married to a younger woman (Anne Consigny), Georges appears to be retired, and the chase adds excitement to his life, but Marguerite asks him to stop. When he doesn't, she contacts Bernard. And that's when Resnais turns the tables on the audience, because Marguerite takes to calling Georges and drops by his house with her friend, Josépha (Emmanuelle Devos). Then, things get even stranger, culminating in a truly mystifying ending. In adapting Christian Gailly's novel L'Incident, Resnais gives the romantic thriller a metaphysical twist that will please some and infuriate others (Edouard Baer's narration illuminates as much as it obscures). In the end, he prioritizes a man's attempt to slow down the passage of time over the possibility of infidelity. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: André Dussollier, Sabine Azéma
  • Directors: Alain Resnais
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: October 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003L20IJ2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,737 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Wild Grass" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
There is a fair amount of sheer whimsy in the film--a characteristic Nouvelle Vague feature that sometimes works, coming across as fresh and unexpected, and sometimes sort of falls flat, seeming merely throwaway, unserious.

But the film as a whole I found fascinating and wonderfully suggestive, particularly its guiding metaphor. This compares wild grass--uncultivated, uncared for, appearing in and around things of more usefulness (a paradigm case insisted upon by the film's opening credits is that of grass growing in cracks of pavement and tarmac)--to stray relationships, equally unplanned and uncultivated, that can sprout up in the cracks of more ordered segments of life, out of seemingly trivial encounters.

The central characters in Herbes Folles are not friends, not business acquaintances, not neighbors, not lovers (even Truffaut's famous menage a trois in Jules et Jim has more solid substance than what Resnais offers up here, though clearly we're dealing with similar inspirations and approaches)--their relationship has no rationale, no name, so it has no rules or accepted conventions, either. This makes it fraught, susceptible to endless hesitations and uncertainties, second guessings and regrets--in fact its very pointlessness renders it curiously intense, there being no established roles available to fall back into in case of missteps, the way an unsteady acrobat can drop into a net.

In this respect, the film is actually about freshness and unexpectedness: these aren't just inherited tics of a French film school. I found Resnais here to be thought-provoking in the same way that Dostoevsky is thought-provoking: people and their relationships are shown as fundamentally unpredictable, mysterious even to themselves.
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Alain Resnais's genius is more to nibble on than "Wild Grass."

To say the least what a concept: make a movie based on gut instincts and one's personal vision, rather than common sense and rationality. Some might call Resnais's movies "surrealism" yet that's passé. Bizarre, off the wall, eccentric, none of those terms also fail to describe his film and cinematography art. Oh, okay, I'll just call it entertaining. That's a simple enough concept, to describe this cutting edge film, excuse me, the edge beyond the cutting; to say the least "Wild Grass" is out there.

This movie starts out with actress Sabine Azema, playing Marguerite Muir, buying a new pair of shoes. Once she gets to the garage, a thief steals her pocketbook. It seems Muir does not want to chase the thief in her new pair of shoes. Her pocketbook falls to the garage floor where it's picked up by a stranger, Andre Dussollier, playing the character Georges Palet. Not knowing what to do, he opens the pocketbook, sees the name, and ends up surrendering it to the police.

The bizarre adventure starts. And bizarre is putting this movie mildly. Yet Director Resnais wants the viewer to see and feel what happens next. A true inventor Resnais uses internet technology, masking, movie technology, the camera, and graphic arts technology with a Spitfire airplane and car, all wrapped in one movie ball.

It seems as if Resnais wanted to follow the French movie making tradition, and push it into the next Century. That's what he did, pushed the envelope pass Goddard, and Monet. Yes, this is an art movie, yet it's more than that. It's more like a visual movie told with images.

For those who enjoy cutting edge movies, those looking for something new and entertaining, "Wild Grass" fits the bill.
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[Spoilers]

Resnais is a great, and I want to give his intellect due credit. A reading undermentioned in the reviews is the notion that the entire film could be a fantasy and/or a movie within a movie.

There is a moment near the end when we are shown, again, the sequence of the purse-snatching followed by Georges in the parking lot picking up the wallet. At that moment it seems nearly obvious that he has possibly fantasized all that preceded this cinematic moment (and all that followed his finding of the wallet), a fantasy about the stranger whose wallet he holds.

As well, we've got the cinematic element. Georges goes to the cinema (and we hear the 20th Century Fox theme music, loudly, as he exits), then again toward the end we hear the same, only this time as part of the Wild Grass soundtrack. An homage to cinema perhaps, but also, given the fantasy element throughout, suggestive of fantasy.

Both characters, too, are caught up in fantasy: obsession, first his with her then hers with him. There is an element of non-reality to the film.

This is not the finest piece of filmmaking to exist, but it is far superior to 99% of the cr@p that comes out of Hollywood. What I take away is not its flaws but its ambiguity, its light touch, and its fantastic final scene.
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Format: DVD
WILD GRASS (LES HERBES FOLLES) is based on the novel 'L'incident' by Christian Gailly, a writer who delights in taking simple incidents and pushing them to the extremes of climax beyond which few would ever dream. But Alain Resnais has taken this novel (adapted by Alex Reval and Laurent Herbiet), infused it with his own characteristic joy of playing reality versus imagination, memory versus illusion, and has come up with a film that will likely have a limited audience, but for those who delight in letting go and simply flying along with the imagination of a genius or two, then WILD GRASS will satisfy and more.

The story is a romance in the manner of a hesitation waltz. The story is narrated (by Edouard Baer) to give the opening aspects of the story momentum. Marguerite Muir (Sabine Azéma), a dentist and Spitfire pilot, has just purchased shoes and leaves the store when her handbag is snatched by a running thief. Later, the aging Georges Palet (André Dussollier) finds a red wallet in a parking lot, examines the contents, struggles with the burden of what to do, and finally turns the wallet in to the police, Bernard de Bordeaux (Mathieu Amalric) who takes his name in case there is a reward. Georges returns home to his wife Suzanne (Anne Consigny), who understands that Georges' strange behavior since his father's recent death may be enhanced by a new predicament: Georges is worried about the incident. He places telephone calls to Marguerite, visits her home, writers her letters - all of which confounds him as to his obsession with the woman he has never met. Georges family (he has two children) find his preoccupation strange and indeed Georges seems to have a dark secret from his past that causes him to have minor verbal explosions that seem wholly inappropriate.
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