A quirky woman who spends her free time as a pilot has her purse stolen; when a mysterious man finds her wallet, they embark on a peculiar romance.

Director:

Alain Resnais

Writers:

Christian Gailly (novel), Alain Resnais (adaptation) (as Alex Reval) | 1 more credit »
3 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sabine Azéma ... Marguerite Muir
André Dussollier ... Georges Palet
Anne Consigny ... Suzanne Palet
Emmanuelle Devos ... Josepha
Mathieu Amalric ... Bernard de Bordeaux
Michel Vuillermoz Michel Vuillermoz ... Lucien d'Orange (as Michel Vuillermoz de la Comédie Française)
Edouard Baer ... Le narrateur (voice)
Annie Cordy ... La voisine
Sara Forestier ... Elodie
Nicolas Duvauchelle ... Jean-Mi
Vladimir Consigny Vladimir Consigny ... Marcelin Palet
Dominique Rozan Dominique Rozan ... Sikorsky
Jean-Noël Brouté Jean-Noël Brouté ... Mickey
Elric Covarel Garcia Elric Covarel Garcia ... Acolyte aviation
Valéry Schatz ... Acolyte aviation
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some thematic material, language and brief smoking | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The aircraft Marguerite was flying at the aerodrome was a Gardan GY-80-180 Horizon.' See more »

Crazy Credits

The credits show considerable variation in their presentation. The first credits seen are the individual actor names with the name of the character played, in a serif font, with shadowed letters. These credits are moving left to right across the screen, fading in and out at different points, over a background of the film's name in larger letters, in an italicized serf font. After the first ten actors, there is abrupt change to a sans serif font, again with shadowed text, for both the cast/ characters list and the film title. The film title is now angled up to the right and is not in clear focus. After the names of the cast, the credits start as scrolling white text on a black background using a serif font, then there is a change to a sans serif font and then a return to the serif font. The next change is to black text on a grey background using a serif font. This then reverts to white text on a black background with a serif font, then a change to a sans serif font and then a return to the serif font. These credits do not stay in a central position, but move from side to side on the screen. See more »

Connections

References The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Salue la Lune
Written by Allan Gray and Walter Reisch
Performed by Marguerite's acolytes at the aerodrome
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User Reviews

 
Resnais adapts novel "L'Incident" by Christian Gailly
17 September 2009 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

The 87-year-old French New Wave veteran directs his longtime star and companion Sabine Azéma (27 years his junior) and regular co-star André Dusollier in this adaptation of an idiosyncratic novel by Christian Gailly about a man and a woman who become fascinated with each other when the man finds the woman's stolen wallet.

The essence of the piece is that the principals are hesitant, indecisive, and a mite crazy. Their experience is the kind that falls through the cracks of well-ordered existence. Hence the new title replacing Gailly's "The Incident," to "Les herbes folles," "crazy grasses." There's a recurrent image of wild grass growing high among stones.

The comfy suburban house of Georges (Dusollier) feels rather like that of Jean-Louis Trintignant outside Geneva, and like Kieslowski's 'Red,' this film is about trying to connect, and has a protagonist who's both respectable and an outlaw. Georges is paranoid about being recognized by police, as if he's done something wrong or been in jail. Yet he has two charming grown children (Sara Forestier, Vladimir Consigny), and a loving and equally appealing wife, Susanne (Anne Consigny, familiar to US French film fans from Schnabel's 'Diving Bell' and Desplechin's 'Christmas Tale'). Georges never acquires a full back-story, but Dusollier is brilliant at depicting his mercurial temperament, and a continual pleasure to watch, as is the equally live-wire Azéma.

Marguerite Muir (Azéma) is a dentist who shares an office with the offbeat French film diva Emmanuelle Devos. Another big French film actor, Matthieu Amalric, plays the cop in the station to whom Georges delivers the found wallet. Strong newcomer Nicolas Duvauchelle, a former boxer, plays Georges' daughter's boyfriend, and he invites Georges to come watch him fight, as well as to use the familiar "tu" with him, but Georges doesn't do either.

Muir has put off till tomorrow reporting the purse-snatching that happened after she bought an expensive pair of shoes. Georges looks up Marguerite and has her phone number and address, but can't bring himself to call her. Georges and Marguerite wind up stalking each other, and the police become involved to call Georges off.

One can see how this could be a quirky, amusing novel, and the innumerable missteps, oversteps, and hesitations would work well verbally. This kind of convoluted mental quirkiness is hard to translate, which is why idiosyncratic literary masterpieces like Sterne's Tristram Shandy have defied the impulse to adapt them cinematically, though Michael Winterbottom made a sporting try (shown in the 2005 NYFF and reviewed by me here). Resnais' task is to find a visual equivalent. The highly mobile camera of Eric Gautier is a considerable asset. On the other hand the jazzy music of Hollywood composer Mark Snow is sometimes merely obtrusive, as at a family gathering where the sax pointlessly overwhelms the scene. But on the other hand it's warm and enveloping in an old-fashioned way in the opening sequences when the two main characters are introduced and we're meant to be charmed and drawn in, and we are.

Resnais and Gailly did not collaborate, at Gaillys' request; he wanted to be left alone to work on his next novel. One of the ways Resnais portrays confused intentions is to show cameos of imagined actions in frames where the character is doing something else; and another is that most obvious interjection of the literary into the cinematic, the use of frequent voice-overs. The production is expensive for a French art film, involving fairly lavish sets and scenes involving small airplanes. One of the links between Georges is that his father wanted to be a pilot and he loves aviation, while Marguerite actually has a pilot's license.

Though Assistant Director Christophe Jeauffroy may have done a lot of the work for the aging master, there are many of the latter's familiar touches, including a lot of rapid cutting early on that recalls his 1963 'Muriel ou Le temps d'un retour.' A director but not a writer whose early fame was due to adaptations of Marguerite Duras ('Hiroshima mon amour') and Alain Robbe-Grillet ('Last Year at Marienbad'), which represent totally opposed sensibilities, Resnais here tries on yet another one. The result is far more conventional than those Sixties films, and on the glossy and mainstream side, veering between farce and melodrama. 'Wild Grass' is full of assurance, and engages from the start. It may disappoint viewers in search of something more profound, more meditative, or funnier, but it's still a work of considerable accomplishment and doubtless may reward repeat viewings by devotees.

Show as an official selection of the NYFF 2009 at Lincoln Center.


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Details

Country:

France | Italy

Language:

French

Release Date:

4 November 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Wild Grass See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,162, 27 June 2010

Gross USA:

$403,952

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,834,890
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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