Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles)

2010

Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles)

Critics Consensus

Precious to a fault, Wild Grass finds 88-year-old director Alain Resnais as joyously unconstrained as ever.

67%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 87

37%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,461
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Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles) Photos

Movie Info

A wallet lost and found opens the door -- slightly -- to Georges and Marguerite's romantic adventure. After examining the ID of its owner, it is not a simple matter for Georges to turn in to the police the red wallet he has found. Nor can Marguerite retrieve her wallet without being piqued with curiosity about the person who found it. As George and Marguerite navigate the social protocols of giving and acknowledging thanks, turbulence enters their everyday lives.

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Cast

André Dussollier
as Georges Palet
Sabine Azéma
as Marguerite Muir
Mathieu Amalric
as Bernard de Bordeaux
Michel Vuillermoz
as Lucien d'Orange
Édouard Baer
as Narrator
Annie Cordy
as Neighbor
Vladimir Consigny
as Marcelin Palet
Elric Covarel-Garcia
as Marguerite's Acolyte
Valéry Schatz
as Marguerite's Acolyte
Stéfan Godin
as Marguerite's Acolyte
Grégory Perrin
as Marguerite's Acolyte
Roger Pierre
as Marcel Schwer
Paul Crauchet
as Dental Office Patient
Jean-Michel Ribes
as Dental Office Patient
Nathalie Kanoui
as Dental Office Patient
Adeline Ishiomin
as Dental Office Patient
Lisbeth Arazi Mornet
as Dental Office Patient
Françoise Gillard
as Shoe Saleslady
Magaly Godenaire
as Watch Saleslady
Rosine Cadoret
as Cinema Ticket Saleslady
Vincent Rivard
as Bartender
Dorothée Blanc
as Airline Passenger
Dorothée Blank
as Airline Passenger
Antonin Mineo
as Airline Passenger
Emilie Jeauffroy
as Airline Passenger
Patrick Mimoun
as Jean-Baptiste Larmeur
Isabelle des Courtils
as Madame Larmeur
Candice Charles
as Elodie Larmeur
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Critic Reviews for Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles)

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (30)

  • Alain Resnais keeps sprouting marvelous artistic herbage at an age when most of his contemporaries are pushing up grass from a different perspective.

    Sep 21, 2010 | Full Review…
  • At age 88, Resnais hasn't lost his capacity to confound.

    Aug 12, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • What can you say: The French sure know how to make pretty pictures.

    Jul 29, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Wild Grass might be the strangest film I've seen all year. Maybe all millennium. Is it any good? Quite frankly, I have no idea.

    Jul 23, 2010 | Rating: 1/4
  • Along with such fantasy elements as rich, primary colors and an ending that suggests we've jumped to some other cinematic dimension, Wild Grass, like compulsive filmmaking, embraces the intensity of subjective experience...

    Jul 22, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
  • At 88, the legendary French director Alain Resnais has earned the right to make whatever movie he wants, even a smug deconstructionist parlor game like Wild Grass. Thankfully, this doesn't require you to watch it.

    Jul 15, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Wild Grass (Les Herbes Folles)

  • Oct 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 <i>Wild Grass</i> 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.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 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.
    Gordon A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 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.
    Neum D Super Reviewer
  • Jul 05, 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.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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