Wild Grass

Rated 3.0

Nearing 90 years old, French new waver Alain Resnais takes up his latest challenge with all the jaunty exuberance—and occasional incoherence—of a cinema-blissed teenager. His premise, adapted from Christain Gailly’s novel L’incident by Alex Réval and Laurent Herbiet, is a simple chance encounter. A man (André Dussollier) finds a wallet, recently stolen from a woman (Sabine Azéma). With help from a policeman (Mathieu Amalric), he returns it to her. Then the man, who is troubled, apparently becomes obsessed with the woman. Then the woman apparently becomes obsessed with his obsession. Is it funny, or sad? Familiar, or strange? Are they too old for this? Are we? Resnais remains an artful dodger of such questions. He gives his movie a vividly misty aura, with punctuation from snappy camera moves and surreal touches. He suggests that sometimes the progress of romance can be as random as that of a weed creeping up through a concrete sidewalk. Strange but true: It looks beautiful, and less pretentious than it sounds, although not much.