Review: "Greta"
Thursday,February 28,2019 at 9:00PM
Chris Feil in Chloe Moretz,Greta,Isabelle Huppert,Neil Jordan,Reviews

byChris Feil

As a palette cleanser for the sour taste left in our mouths from the Oscar season,director Neil Jordan has a chocolate-covered acid truffle to offer.Intergenerational stalker thrillerGretais here to deliver in a pinch,an unpretentious treat with pedigree and casual self-awareness.It's the cinematic equivalent of an airport paperback in the best possible way,all schlocky upsides without the unrefined downsides.

Chloë Grace Moretz stars as Frances,a young woman in New York City grieving the recent death of her mother.In a chance moment of good samaritanism,Frances finds a handbag bag on the subway and returns it to its rightful owner,Isabelle Huppert's Greta Hideg.Greta's abandonment by her own daughter sparks a sudden friendship of complimentary loneliness between the two.But once Frances learns that their meet cute was a calculation on Greta's part,things quickly escalate into obsession and very ominous hats.

Much of the appeal of this thriller is watching Huppert rip into Greta's psychotic swings between sweetness and devilishness - and naturally the actress delivers mightily.She is the current reigning Performer As Auteur,and here she subverts multiple archetypal cliches that regularly hound her actress peers.Part of what makesGretaso much fun is that she is having a ball dissecting genre.As she delights in the film's tense heights,Moretz smartly plays it straight,making the film a successful duet of tones for taste levels both high and low.Because of the leads,the film can have its cake and eat it too.

Exquisitely shot by Seamus McGarvey,Gretais crafted with a formal class that makes it a buffet of prestige junk food for those starving for respectable sleaze.The film comes off as some kind of aspirational horror film,its tongue-in-cheek thrills are as soothing as Frances' illogically easy and well-furnished big city fantasy.It's like if DePalma started shooting ads for West Elm.

Jordan keeps things chaste in its actual and suggestive violence,Greta's whimsical menace barely earning its R rating with most horrors left out of frame.It carries an air of modern day Brothers Grimm fairy tale,its interests rooted in femininity and comforts both aesthetic and emotional.Maika Monroe is also an unassumingly charming presence as Frances' roommate Erica,a much needed whipsmart contrast to the protagonist straight out of 90s horror archetypes.

Perhaps the film is too expedient to really allow itself to develop its ideas of feminine pastiche as persona,but it is filled with meaning in its textures - the shock of Greta's sunglasses,Frances' contrasting basics,the primness of Greta's handbag that lures her in."A woman is known by her shoes and her gloves.And we are nothing if not ladies,"Huppert coos after a flash of gruesomeness occurs.Her knowing smile and faux-relaxed posture speakes volumes to the theme,but the film flies by them too fast to linger on them.

OccasionallyGretafeels like a somewhat missed opportunity to deliver something really nasty - or more decidedly queer.But mostly it delivers on exactly what it is selling us,with the promise of Huppert to always elevate its intellectual capacity without diminishing its B-movie elation.It's a camp operetta all the more welcome for its arch tone and slick unpretentiousness.And thank goodness.


Article originally appeared on The Film Experience (//亚博主页
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