A wallet lost and found opens the door to romantic adventure for Georges and Marguerite. After examining the ID papers of its owner, it is not a simple matter for Georges to turn the red ... See full summary »
A wallet lost and found opens the door to romantic adventure for Georges and Marguerite. After examining the ID papers of its owner, it is not a simple matter for Georges to turn the red wallet he found in to the police. Nor is it that Marguerite can recuperate her wallet without being piqued with curiosity about whom it was who found it. As they navigate the social protocols of giving and acknowledging thanks, turbulence enters their otherwise quotidian lives. Written by
The joy of cinema, Resnais at 87 - whimsical, fanciful in vivid delight, with comparable verve doses by his cinematic collaborators familier
WILD GRASS, aka "Les Herbes Folles" in French, is aptly titled, naturellement. Such grass that grows wild, is unpredictable in how it blooms and affects its surrounding neighbors. It can be amazing or annoying, subtle or gregarious. Consulting my French-English dictionary: 'herbe' is grass, while 'folle' does mean mad, wild, foolish. Either way, veteran French filmmaker Alan Resnais, emboldened by his worthy age and years in the world of cinema, gave us quite a treat to what the joy of cinema can truly be, a film about a pair of 'madman and madwoman' - 'folles' foolish, tremendously so or otherwise.
The story is a series of events string together, seemingly easy to follow, with the comfort of a narrator voice-over interjecting certain rhyme or reason - the varying plot points converge, yet without notice, diverge also. Scratching your head? Don't mind that - ignore the inquisitive curious "why's" - why ever not! Go along with the characters offered and enjoy the ride.
A fabulous French cast: Sabine Azéma again is the leading lady Maguerite in exciting red frizzy hair-do, André Dussollier is Georges exuding his baffled charm in the guise of nonchalance, Anne Consigny is the unperturbed wife of Georges, Mathieu Amalric (of "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" 2007) is one curiously affable French Police, Emmanuelle Devos (of "Read My Lips" 2001) is dear friend and go-between Josépha to Maguerite. At times the characters and situations might classify as caricature-like. The style and approach of cinematography (by Éric Gautier) and editing (by Hervé De Luze) skilfully call upon different genres and nostalgic inferences to cinema fantastique, along with vivid colorful set design, as seen in Maguerite's living space.
The wisdom of employing music by composer Mark Snow (of "The X-Files" who had collaborated with Resnais on his prior film "Private Fears in Public Places" 2006) deftly matches Resnais' non-conforming storytelling with mystery-tale notes infused, then it's catchy jazz rhythm, to gliding unobtrusive scores, sheer glove-fitting music accompaniment enhancing our Resnais-induced cinematic experience, indisputable.
I suspect Georges could still be under the influence of his 'grief' phase to his father's recent passed away, that any behavior irrational can be forgivingly disregarded by partner, family, friends. On the other hand, for Marguerite, she's probably bored by the day in and day out routines of her dentistry bread & butter profession, so why not succumb to a total stranger and go loop the loops in the vast sky of possibilities. Sure sounds dreamlike, capricious, unscrupulously playful - certainement. We are blessed with this dessert délicieux from Resnais at 87 (in 2009), hence ask not why. It's Wild Grass - no foreseen reason or logic. Take it in stride and s'amuser.
Bonus noted: subtitles were by Ian Burley, my favorite French/Italian film translator, who provided the outstanding subtitles in "Bread and Tulips" 2000. He was absolutely keen in matching rhymes on the English subtitles to the French lyrics sung in Resnais 1997 "Same Old Song" aka 'On Connaît la Chanson'.
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