Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 17, 2010
Alain Resnais proves at 87 years old that he still has a lot of imagination, delivering a curious nonsensical fable that plays with the conventions of the genre and with our expectations - and the final result may not feel like much but it is daring enough to be worth our time.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
October 10, 2011
A man haltingly pursues a woman whose wallet he found.
If this is the French New Wave, then I should start watching the Old Wave. In Wild Grass there is so little attention paid to good exposition that I found myself lost, wondering about the characters' relationships to each other even after the first act was a memory. And the performance by Andre Dussolier does little to reveal his character's motivations. Performances like these are good when the story is clear and solid, but Resnais's concentration is on that which is unclear, so the sum is a character who behaves strangely but whose motivations for his strangeness remain a mystery, unconnected to the random shots of weeds. And when he yells and snaps in a romantic story we wonder what the whole point is.
Overall, there are people who find this absurdist alienation interesting and refreshing, but I'm not one of them.
neverteaseaweasel
Super Reviewer
March 22, 2010
Wild Grass has the most fantastic opening scene. We have this vivid imagery, charming narration, an endearing character, and the introduction to an intriguing plot. Everything seems set up just right to lead to something amazing. Well, the thing is, the film opens on it's highest point. While the rest it good, it just feels like a let down after the opening material. Plus, I'm sort of confused why it opens with Marguerite when she really doesn't spend as much time as Georges in the film. I mean, it just seems like she plays a more subordinate role in the thing. Anyway, that's just overanalyzing things, but still there is just something ... off about the rest of the film and I cannot totally put a finger on what it was. I did like how the story is something that at first seems conventional, but does not play out in the way that you would expect it to at all - by and large. Or rather, it guess to the places you would expect, but takes an alternate route to get there. I liked Marguerite quite a lot, but the rest of the characters are sort of forgettable. Idk, the film had it's moments and really is good. It just felt like it was missing something.
gor41
Super Reviewer
½ November 13, 2010
There is a notion to make over 65's retake their driving test for fear they have become dangerous to other road users and themselves. I fear a similar test for senility may be required for revered auteur filmakers to protect their legacy. This film is utterly atrocious in almost every way (the score is ok). Presumably the distinguished cast and crew deferred to Resnais' every whim no matter how crackpot on account of his presumed 'genius'. The list of flaws is endless but succinctly, it seems to condone violent stalking and sexual assault by married octagenarian leches (who bizarrly are supposed to be 50) - women might initially be resistant to one's advances but hold out and then you can ignore them when finally they wake up and see your obvious (?) charms. I sincerely hope for Resnais that this is not thinly veiled autobiography. The characters are totally miscast and unbelievably inconsistent and insincere, the plot makes no sense, tonally it shifts from thrilller to drama to sex farce at will .............. I could go on - almost worth seeing as a spectacle of ineptitude.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
July 5, 2010
"Wild Grass" is a terribly boring film from renowned filmmaker Alain Resnais ("Last Year at Marienbad"). It is visually ravishing, but the story is almost completely uninteresting and horrifically slow-paced. About all that could be done with "Wild Grass" is to turn the sound off and watch the extraordinary visuals. Make your own soundtrack by turning on your favorite music.

The visual panache of "Wild Grass" often reminded me of Pedro Almodovar. In fact, one could argue that "Wild Grass" bears some resemblance to Almodovar's most recent film, "Broken Embraces." Both are love letters to cinema. The actual story playing out on screen is almost beside the point. What one is meant to enjoy and reflect on is the movie-making process itself.

If this is to any degree true of Resnais's approach to this project, my response would be: People don't love cinema because it contains beautiful images flickering on a screen. They love cinema because it provides beautiful images that mean something. The story is what conveys the meaning. On its own, cinematography cannot do much. Without a great screenwriter, a director can't make cinema magic, no matter how good he or she is. "Wild Grass" woefully lacks a screenwriter.
neumdaddy
Super Reviewer
½ July 25, 2010
Kaleidoscopic, bizarre, and finally, maddening. Wild Grass started out as a realistic examination of characters ? with some surrealistic undercurrents ? through a serendipitous intersection before careening off a cliff into a canyon of WTF. Early on, there was some darkness in the stalker quality with which Georges Palet wanted to know more about Marguerite Muir?s life, after he recovered her stolen wallet. But the film simply refused to go anywhere with this approach. It started observational and oddly charming, if not slightly disturbing, but slowly grew exasperating. The film totally whiffs attempting whimsy in trying to build a connection between Georges and Marguerite where it should?ve been, you know, building their characters. Oh, and by the way, Georges has a wife, and she knows about his apparent longing for Marguerite, but she has this knowing about Georges and his (never-revealed) dark past that makes the courtship ? or whatever you want to call it ? something that?s understood, if not a bit sad to her. And Marguerite has a friend, too, that somehow weaves herself as a primary character in the story, and yet I?m not sure why.

In fact, at some point, the movie loses nearly all hinges, and practically becomes a parody of European arthouse cinema. Colorful, yes, but about as nourishing as lollipop regurgitation. Forget about incomplete character arcs and under- and un-developed characters; this movie ventures into a quiet absurdism where characters seem to do whatever, and things happen onscreen, but nothing is really tethered together with any kind of logic. But hey, pretty colors! Interstitial scenes of grass outgrowths on sidewalks (er, wild grass?)! Actresses that look like the French Tea Leoni (this is a good thing), French Idina Menzel, and a French muppet! So yeah, pretty disappointing considering the buzz I had heard going in. The final amusement of the film is that it may have oddly given me everything that I ever wanted for these characters: violent, violent death. Well, at least the possibility of it (the ?how? and ?why? of this will be explained in the film). Hey, a guy can hope.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2010
"Wild Grass" starts with Marguerite(Sabine Azema), a dentist, going shoe shopping. After she leaves the store, her purse is snatched and she returns the shoes to the store, needing the money to get home. However, she does not call the police, preferring to soak in her bathtub instead. Georges(Andre Dussollier), an ex-convict who has been married for 30 years to Suzanne(Anne Consigny), prefers to get a new battery for his watch instead of buying a new one. When returning to his car, he finds Marguerite's wallet, containing her pilot's license. After debating about what to do and trying to call her, he returns the wallet to the local police station.

Directed by Alain Resnais, "Wild Grass" is an engaging and light movie about obsession. It is never made clear what Georges went to prison for(that's okay), just that it is violent and quite possibly memorable. He still has violent thoughts, especially on petty items like women who wear black underwear with white pants after Labor Day. Like somebody who has been out of circulation for a while, he has trouble adjusting to the new world he finds, preferring a manual lawnmower and old movies.(Next time, please don't give away the ending.) So, his journey takes on a circular path towards a fake ending, before a real one and one truly enigmatic piece of dialogue that makes perfect sense if you think about it a little.
March 13, 2011
Look, I don't need everything spelled out for me, I don't need the characters to be likable, I just need events and behavior to make some fucking sense within the world the filmmaker is presenting. Everyone, and I mean everyone, in this movie acts as if they are out of their cotton-picking minds. It's been a long time since I've seen Resnais' "Last Year In Marienbad" (I also recall praying for that movie to end). Maybe it's my problem, I don't get him, and I don't get this. All I'll say is that I watched "RED", starring Bruce Willis, earlier this week and I'd prefer watching Helen Mirren mowing people down with a machine gun over one minute of this lofty nonsense.
February 4, 2011
Resnais looks at life with a focus that's profoundly troubling, off-kilter, always with a sense that something is being held back, a key that will unlock the mystery. In Wild Grass (a title that illustrates my point), the mystery is in the characters. Who the hell are these people, and why are they falling in and out of love so suddenly? The plot points veer from amusing to improbable to irrelevant, because Resnais' focus is the energy of the scene and those who populate his scenarios. Its abrupt ending isn't a surprise either, because I never knew where I was when the moving was going on. Without tricks and without narrative stylistics, Resnais leaves you gasping for the meaning in a life of random fates.
January 30, 2011
Watched this last night, mainly because I was astonished that the guy who did HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR is still making movies. Not great but worth a look-see. Kind of like Bunuel without the humor.
January 16, 2011
Some of it makes no sense at all, but it's the prettiest-looking movie of 2010 and with some of that crazy visual imagination that Resnais showed 40 years ago with Last Year at Marienbad. This isn't as avant-garde as that, but it's also about perplexing romance, if that at all. It also has my favorite movie poster in years.
January 6, 2011
(****): Thumbs Up

A strangely, entertaining film. Very unique and intriguing throughout. One of 2010's best films.
December 26, 2010
It's possible that this type of film just isn't for me. But I uh. Well, I just plain didn't like it. Any of it.
½ December 2, 2010
it's very....playful. and lyrical. you simply can't take it at face value. georges and marguerite represent more to each other than is immediately apparent.
November 8, 2010
Wild Grass Les Herbes Folles 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 daily/normal lives. -- the story starts with the event itself and then quickly spirals out of control, taking its characters through hilarious scenarios and digressions while always maintaining a dark undertone. At the ripe age of 87, and exactly half a century since dropping a cinematic atom bomb with Hiroshima mon amour, Alain Resnais continues his career-long experiment in filmmaking with the playfully flamboyant melodrama Wild Grass. More freewheeling than 2006s Private Fears in Public Places, but with a similar networking structure that connects the destinies of several melancholy adults into one intriguing web, the fiom is marked by superb performances and a dazzling technical display by the director and praiseworthy cinematographer Eric Gautier. This film challenges the viewer on all levels. Both a zany romantic comedy and an anarchic art film, Wild Grass degenerates into nothing but a charmless set of self-conscious and empty gestures. It exhausts its welcome the first half of the movie. To Resnais credit, the film is beautifully shot, and there are flashes of innovation that let you know that, however unendurable, this is the work of a gifted director. I like the film but others have called the film - the worst kind of avant-garde film, one that hides its lack of commitment to the story, the characters and the genre under cover of being experimental-- boredom, emptiness and the oldest metaphor in captivity, about grass coming up through concrete- 4 stars
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2010
A warm, consistently surprising film by legendary French New Wave director Alain Resnais, that deftly navigates the waters of fate, attraction and love. Following an single dentist whose purse is snatched, and the older married man who returns it to her, "Wild Grass" gently follows the unusual relationship that develops between them as they waffle back and forth between meeting and not meeting, talking and not talking, alternatively drawn to and repelled by one another. Takes admittedly strange circumstances and turns them into a wonderfully honest look at communication in modern relationships.
March 24, 2010
This really, really, really looked like it was going somewhere interesting and then...not. Marvelous, creative film-making with some very interesting well-realized characters. And the disappointment doesn't come until late. The film is well worth seeing despite the let down.
½ December 17, 2015
Alain Resnais that gave us so great film like "Hiroshima my love" or "Last year in Marienbad", after all this time take a lot of licenses and made this film in the border of quantum uncertainty, using a narrator, because without him we could get lost in the labyrinths of the story. Weird, refreshing and defiant for the mind.
Super Reviewer
June 17, 2010
Alain Resnais proves at 87 years old that he still has a lot of imagination, delivering a curious nonsensical fable that plays with the conventions of the genre and with our expectations - and the final result may not feel like much but it is daring enough to be worth our time.
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