Spotlight: "Wild Grass"

  • Article by: COLIN COVERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 15, 2010 - 2:53 PM

A farce from French legend Alain Resnais

Andre Dussolier in "Wild Grass"

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'WILD GRASS'

Logic-huggers won't like it, but I found "Wild Grass" (★★★ 1/2, PG for some thematic material, language and smoking, in subtitled French) a prankish, lyrical and captivating experience. If you enjoyed the bourgeois farces that Luis Buñuel made with Fernando Rey in the 1970s, you will, too. At center stage is Georges, a refined but cantankerous retiree married to a much younger beauty. He discovers a stolen woman's wallet and fantasizes a romantic adventure with Marguerite, the middle-aged owner, before turning it over to the police. When she calls to thank him with what he considers insufficient gratitude, Georges begins stalking her and performing petty yet frightening acts of sabotage. It's a sort of elderly, sex-changed "Fatal Attraction," played as an elaborate collection of jokes and puzzles. The film is abundantly silly theater of the absurd, with Georges' fantasy life fender-bending the film's own sense of make-believe. Directed by French New Wave legend Alain Resnais, it's a puzzle box with Jack-in-the-box jokes. Now 88, Resnais still can construct an idiosyncratic yarn with the best of them. The top-notch cast includes André Dussollier as Georges, who is both a sweet romantic and a lunatic, Mathieu Amalric as a comically intense policeman, and Sabine Azéma playing Marguerite with loopy, Diane Keaton charm. (Lagoon Cinema, 1320 Lagoon Av., Mpls. $7-$9. 612-825-6006.)

COLIN COVERT

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