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'Wild Grass' is no 'Sex and the City 2.' Or is it?

In 'Wild Grass,' French director Alain Resnais explores a chance meeting and the impulses that follow.

André Dussollier (l.) stars in 'Wild Grass' as Georges, a contented house husband who becomes fascinated with a stranger.

Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

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The French director Alain Resnais was 87 when he made "Wild Grass," but it doesn't seem like an "old man's movie." I guess you could call it autumnal but the leafiness is brightly colored.

The film's colorations are so prominent that they could almost serve as costars. It is not, for example, the face of Marguerite (Sabine Azéma), a dentist on a shopping spree, that we first see. Instead, it's her big halo of red hair, her equally bright red wallet, and her newly bought yellow handbag. Her sports car matches the color of her handbag, and her apartment is outfitted in shades of red, blue, and yellow neon. (No, this is not "Sex and the City 2," although sometimes it feels like it.)

As the film begins, Marguerite has her handbag snatched, and her wallet is found in a suburban parking garage by Georges (André Dussollier), whose face, like Marguerite's, is only revealed at the closeout of his introduction to us. We hear their ruminations in voice-over, though. The effect is a bit like being inside the heads of people who in every other sense are abstractions.

Despite this abstractedness, Resnais and his screenwriters Alex Reval and Laurent Herbiet, adapting a novel by Christian Gailly, hew fairly close to realism in these opening passages. Even when the narrative unravels in flights of fancy Resnais doesn't go in for a lot of bells and whistles. He films illogic most logically.


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