TIFF 2018 Greta Featured

TIFF 2018: Greta Review

Special Presentations 

Greta was a late addition to this year’s festival lineup and boy, what a treat. Versatile writer/director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) shows that we don’t need to tolerate the likes of Roman Polanski to get the kind of dark, tongue-in-cheek Hitchcockian psychological thriller he mastered earlier in his career. This film has a lot going for it, but what audiences will remember will be Isabelle Huppert’s gleefully creepy turn as the eponymous Greta.

Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) is new to New York, so when she finds an abandoned purse on the subway, she decides the to do the right thing and return it to its rightful owner. The French widow (Huppert) is very grateful and invites Frances to stay for coffee. We learn that Frances has recently lost her mother, and the lonely Greta’s daughter lives overseas, and the two quickly develop a surrogate mother/ daughter relationship. When Frances discovers that Greta is more than just a little eccentric, she tries cutting ties. Needless to say, Greta doesn’t take it very well and things escalate rather quickly.

Huppert delights in playing this daintily unhinged villain and Jordan’s directing is just as playful. As things go from bad to worse, the film achieves just the right amount of camp to keep it from getting too disturbing. There are still genuine scares and some delightfully squeamish moments, but it’s all in good fun. See it with an audience if you can so you don’t feel terrible about laughing at the goodhearted Frances’s insane predicament.

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