Greta review – effective B-movie madness
Isabelle Huppert’s unhinged central performance lifts Neil Jordan’s solid genre thriller
The catalyst in Neil Jordan’s thriller is a green handbag. An expensive-looking leather satchel, square with a gold clasp. Left unattended on a subway seat, it’s either an invitation or a ticking bomb (in a way, it’s both). Twentysomething Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz), heading home from her waitressing job at a fancy Manhattan restaurant, picks it up, intending to hand it in to the station’s Lost and Found, but no one is there to receive it. Reluctantly, she opens the bag, discovering a driver’s licence (with an address!) belonging to a Greta Hideg, and so to Brooklyn she goes. The French-accented Greta (Isabelle Huppert) is touched by this gesture of kindness, and insists on showing her appreciation.
Vulnerable after the death of her mother, and new to New York, having recently moved from the more navigable Boston, Frances is in the market for a new friend. And so the two become unlikely companions, making risotto and bonding over being lonely in an unfriendly city. “I’m like chewing gum: I tend to stick around,” she assures Greta, with a genuine smile.