Mélo in 1986). He is content to serve as a conduit for the story the writer has told, and this is why his style, if you can ever pin it down, will surely change with his next movie. If his track record moves up and down, the ups are many and most prominent, from Last Year at Marienbad, Muriel, Providence to some of his later larks like Not on the Lips and Life Is a Bed of Roses. Even with his rare "down" (I Want to Go Home), you can yet applaud his trying something new.
Private Fears in Public Places) and as perhaps befits a gentleman of 88 years. Though Wild Grass deals with some heavy stuff -- infidelity and stalking, mugging and robbery, love and death -- it's all handled so delicately, delightfully that you realize once more: It's the telling, not the tale, that creates the mood. When was the last time a line like, "So you do love me!" caused an audience to explode with laughter? You've heard of "the Lubitsch touch"; think of this as the Resnais goose.
André Dussollier (above) and that frizzy, red-haired delight, Sabine Azéma (below). Both have worked often for the director (I believe Ms Azéma doubles as Mme. Resnais) and they ring their many changes like the pros they are, with flair and utter dedication.
Emmanuelle Devos as Sabine's dental partner, Anne Consigny (shown two photos below) as Dussolier's extremely understanding wife and Mathieu Amalric (below, right) as a helpful, interested police officer. As good as the cast is -- very -- it's finally the director and his vision, taken from the novel L'Incident by Christian Gailly, as adapted for the screen by Alex Reval and Laurent Herbiet, that carries the day. The reason is that Resnais is able to find proper visual equivalents for so many things -- incidents, moods, behaviors -- via his choice of edits, colors, lighting, sound. (The fine cinematography is by Eric Gautier.)
Sony Picture Classics, open Friday, June 25, in New York and on July 2 in Los Angeles, with a limited national rollout to follow.