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
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.