Time After Time: The Films of Alain Resnais

Wild Grass

Alain Resnais

Age did nothing to tame Resnais' audacity: at 88, he produced this anarchic, endlessly inventive romantic comedy that won critics' hearts and its director a lifetime achievement award at Cannes. Playing on the word voler (which means both "to fly" and "to steal"), the crazed plot begins when middle-aged dentist Marguerite (Sabine Azéma, with a bonfire of red frizz for a hairdo) has her purse stolen at a chic shoe store. When Georges (André Dussollier) discovers her discarded wallet and, inside it, a pilot's license, his own passion for aviation unleashes in him an amorous obsession. Though married, he pursues the mystery woman, and as their romance founders and then takes flight, the plot soars — as does the camera, which matches the film's Day-Glo colour scheme with wild curlicues and cranes. Heady, hallucinatory, and sometimes hilarious (Mathieu Amalric has a tasty cameo as a police officer), Wild Grass "confirms its director as one of the giants of the art" (Manohla Dargis, The New York Times); "it might be his greatest film since Muriel" (Amy Taubin).

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