Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 26
  2. Negative: 4 out of 26
Watch On
  1. 75
    The film is a visual pleasure, using elegant techniques that don't call flashy attention to themselves. The camera is intended to be as omniscient as the narrator, and can occupy the film's space as it pleases and move as it desires. Here is a young man's film made with a lifetime of experience.
  2. 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. It mocks form and plays with form but offers nothing in its place, just boredom, emptiness and the oldest metaphor in captivity, about grass coming up through concrete.
  3. Like its would-be lovers, Wild Grass chases itself in circles as it scrambles genres, examining seeing, thinking, remembering and imagining with a zany awareness. In Georges's words: "After the cinema nothing surprises you. Everything is possible."
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    In its refusal to connect the dots, Wild Grass is playful unto tediousness, and between Azéma's overly cutesy performance -- all Harpo Marx hair-frizz and popped eyes -- and Mark Snow's painfully (purposefully?) banal lounge-jazz score, the movie functions as a theoretical irritant rather than a film.
  5. Wild Grass is itself odd stuff: Sometimes it's as playful as Marguerite's crayon-red corona of frizzy hair, and other times as autumnal as the sight of Georges alone in his study, feeling stuck.
  6. 50
    Who, exactly, is stalking whom, and for what reason? I'm still not entirely sure, but Resnais' funky, frothy bonbon of a film is nevertheless a breathtaking sight to see.
  7. 75
    Wild Grass, which employs a wry, self-deprecating voice-over narrator and some highly stylish camerawork, feels like a comic thriller building into a kind of strange romance.
  8. It is craftsmanship incarnate and the embodiment of tonal unpredictability.
  9. 50
    The famously oblique French director Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad) won a special award at the Cannes film festival for this existential comedy (2009), whose masterful technique fails to compensate for its glassy characters and mercilessly self-amused tone.
  10. 75
    Still, when a director of his pedigree and years brings so much life to the screen, inconsistency hardly seems to matter.
  11. Likely to draw a range of responses. Many will be transported by its gorgeous construction and breathless emotion. Others will find it patently ridiculous.
  12. 88
    Wild Grass is a French movie for people afraid of French movies.
  13. 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.
  14. 20
    An insufferable exercise in cutie-pie modernism, painfully unfunny and precious to a fault.
  15. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 14, 2010
    100
    It's a cocktail-party movie with a Molotov-cocktail finish: a tribute to the 88-year-old auteur's artistry - and his con artistry as well.
  16. 83
    Whatever it is, Wild Grass is so overtly artificial and aggressively trifling that it's bound to put some viewers off, though it's also so bright and funny that it's hard not to be at least a little enchanted. Resnais' music is so sweet, even when his words are nonsense.
  17. Although it alludes to romantic conventions, with overt references to Hollywood history and an overemphatic jazz soundtrack, Wild Grass is neither poignant nor zany. It's an exercise in artifice, not unlike David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive" set in the City of Lights. I'm sure the French have a word for it, but je ne sais quoi it is.
  18. 100
    Alain Resnais's mind-bending new feature.
  19. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    90
    Wild Grass is an elegant vessel for outlandish thoughts and troubling impulses. In his rejection of cinematic naturalism, Resnais has made a movie that's both utterly contrived and compellingly lifelike.
  20. 75
    The roots of romantic feeling, as explored in Wild Grass, Alain Resnais's jazzy ode to cinema and the love impulse in later life, are equally, spectacularly random.
  21. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    80
    A typically poignant lifestory illuminated by strong turns from Dussollier and Azéma, Alain Resnais' latest is one to stir the brain as well as the heart.
  22. With its comic-book hues, crime-caper score, overly serious narrator, interior monologues and surreal touches, Wild Grass proves Resnais is still having fun with cinematic language.
  23. 60
    Wild Grass retains a literary feel with the help of an unseen narrator, who offers intriguing poetic observations. And Resnais' visuals are equally lyrical. What can you say: The French sure know how to make pretty pictures.
  24. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    80
    The picture is marked by superb performances and a dazzling technical display by the helmer and praiseworthy cinematographer Eric Gautier.
  25. Resnais' storytelling is in top form. Turning 88 this June, he's an inspiration to us all.
  26. Reviewed by: Duane Byrge
    50
    Narratively, Wild Grass is a fractured romance, that never jells on any level, except for the backdrop visuals. Visually scrumptious, as if culled from the pages of good-taste magazines, it has the appeal of a designer catalog, and also the depth.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Sep 19, 2010
    9
    With a surrealist spin on romantic comedy, Alain Resnais' Wild Grass features fully realized characters wrapped up in life's sublimeWith a surrealist spin on romantic comedy, Alain Resnais' Wild Grass features fully realized characters wrapped up in life's sublime silliness. It's a playful film that tantalizes us as mystery deepens. If Georges Palet (Andre Dussollier) is caught up in imagination, Marguerite (Sabine Azema) is drawn in by empathy for her benevolent stalker, a man in his sixties with memory loss who yearns for some genuine adventure in life.

    Marguerite, a 50-ish dentist weary of inflicting pain, falls in love with the idea of Georges falling in love with her. It all begins when she has her purse snatched one day by a rollerblader in a Paris shopping mall. Her bright yellow bag floats through the air, fashionable and fanciful. Marguerite's red wallet (which matches her shock of red hair), shows up empty of cash but intact near Georges' car.

    By the time Georges returns her wallet to the police, he is already enamored with the woman he's never met. After all, she has a pilot's license! The possibilities are endless.

    Marguerite calls Georges to thank him. When they finally meet, he deadpans, "You love me, then." The fact that Georges is married to a young wife Suzanne (Anne Consigny) is almost irrelevant. As the balance of power shifts and Marguerite pursues Georges, she befriends Suzanne and inserts herself as a friend of the family.

    With many asides and allusions, Wild Grass is worth seeing twice to savor its complexity. It doesnâ
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 16, 2011
    10
    Itâ
  3. Sep 18, 2010
    9
    If you're a filmgoer who needs neat, tidy plot lines and a tightly wrapped ending, do not go see this movie. If you're a fan of being provokedIf you're a filmgoer who needs neat, tidy plot lines and a tightly wrapped ending, do not go see this movie. If you're a fan of being provoked and/or incited by a director (think Von Trier or Haneke), you'll love it. It's one long meditation on our expectations as well-trained, Pavlovian, Hollywood-fed viewers. It's fantastic. Full Review »