Wild Grass (Les herbes folles) ★★★
(France, 104 min)
Dir: Alain Resnais; Writ: Alex Reval & Laurent Herbiet
Starring: Sabine Azéma, André Dusollier, Anne Consigny, Emmanuelle Devos, Mathieu Almaric.
Just a short one for tonight.
Wild Grass is a mostly delightful black comedy by the legendary French filmmaker Alain Resnais. Wild Grass is a masterful piece of storytelling: it delights in odd aside notes from the unseen narrator, it has all sorts of oddball characters, and it’s all played out in a vibrantly coloured palette that’s accented by a jazzy score. The film is an engaging romantic-comedy that unfolds in that magically convoluted manner that exists only in the movies.
That’s also the film’s downfall. I absolutely loved the oddity of the first third of the movie. I was entranced, fascinated by it. And then the thrill wore off. As Wild Grass became inexcusably ridiculous in its final act, I found myself frustrated by the absurdity of it all, despite the always welcome presence of Emmanuelle Devos. Overall, though, Wild Grass is a lot of fun, but it’s nothing to rush out to.