Movie review: It’s not great, but Greta will pass the time

by Shane Dillon
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While the cinema chains clear the deck before the imminent arrival of the latest Avengers juggernaut, there’s a brief window of opportunity for much smaller films to nab some punters before they’re largely ignored for the next month or so.

One such film is director Neil Jordan’s latest, the rather unhinged Greta (Cert 15A, 99 mins), which eventually goes off the rails as much as its eponymous main character.

A lonely young woman in New York, Frances (Chloe Grace Moretz), finds an expensive handbag on the subway with the owner’s address inside.

Being an honest person, Frances brings the bag back to its owner, Greta (Isabelle Huppert), a nice, lonely widow whose daughter is away in France.

Cue a growing friendship, and – as seen in the trailers – the discovery of a whole load of identical expensive bags; lures, in other words, for Greta to pull people towards her.

As the trailers also reveal, the mild-mannered piano teacher is actually nuttier than a bag of peanuts, with unnerved Frances the new target of an increasingly unhinged Greta.

Other characters, such as Frances’s roomie, Erica (Maika Monroe) get drawn into things, as she and Frances’s dad tell her to ignore Greta.

That’s easier said than done, however, as a determined Greta is as good at stalking as she is at piano teaching, and she won’t be ignored by her new young friend/target of her obsession…

That’s a little more detail than I’d normally go into with a review, as I dislike spoilers or revealing major twists.

However, as Greta’s trailers throw practically everything but the ending credits into the mix, giving away more of the plot than usual (or advisable, arguably), it’s no surprise that I followed suit.

Grace Moretz is her usual likeable, doe-eyed self, and despite her explosively violent, foul-mouthed debut as Hit Girl in Kick Ass, she can play these sweet, nice characters in her sleep.

However, the star is, of course, Huppert, who’s stuck with playing Ze Crazy Foreigner, but at least gets to flex some acting muscle and variation with her character, fleshing Greta out as a resolutely driven person.

Ultimately, it’s very much a ‘Ronseal’ film: Jordan’s latest delivers exactly what the trailers promise, as a B-movie with a vengeful lead, which may suit those looking to avoid Avengers instead.

  • Verdict: 6/10

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