There is something both mischievous and moving about a world-famous director who, closing on his 10th decade, designs a movie that celebrates his actors: their varying ages, their versatility, their heart.
Equally inspired by comics and experimental fiction, Resnais makes movies that don't so much break filmmaking conventions as circumvent them; at 91 years old, he remains one of the world's most unpredictable filmmakers, and one of its most idiosyncratic.
This reflection on the past, love and death through the prism of layers of theatrical endeavor is both serious and frisky, engaging on a refined level but frustratingly limited in its complexity and depth.
While the meta-theatrical staging is artful and impeccable and the performances (pulled from a cast of actors Resnais has used over several decades) are superb, it's not the easiest film to sit through.
Whether Resnais will complete another movie remains to be seen, but if this were by any chance to be his swansong, with its distant and resonant echoes of 'Hiroshima Mon Amour' (made 63 years earlier), it would certainly be a lovely one.