Greta (R) BUY on Amazon:Poster!
| Soundtrack!Climax (R) BUY on Amazon:Poster!
Isabelle Huppert has never been shy in mining, if not downright wallowing in, the darker side of humanity in her lengthy and justly celebrated international cinema career (in fact, one can say that it's a major reason for said career celebration), so the prospect of her flying off the handle in a commercial Hollywood psycho stalker thriller is delicious. Indeed, Huppert clearly relishes the title role in Greta, a lonely widow who strikes up a friendship "by chance" with naive young woman Frankie (Chloë Grace Moretz) after returns a purse that was "lost" on the subway--or, rather, so it seems. Huppert exudes a beguiling warmth that makes for a quick and convincing rapport with Moretz, but it's when Frankie catches on to something being amiss with her all too eager and gracious new friend that Huppert really starts to cut loose and have fun. Theoretically, this is also the point at which the film as a whole should do the same. Yet while director Neil Jordan and co-writer Ray Wright do approach the familiar genre tropes with a less common sense of savvy (for instance, unlike many a thriller heroine/dupe, Frankie wises up instantly at the first sign of danger), and the performances by Moretz and Maika Monroe (as Frankie's best friend/roommate) are also strong, Jordan never fully embraces the abandon and excess that such pulpy and well-worn material requires to stand out from its abundant ilk and truly thrill. Huppert, as ever down for whatever as she is, thus feels held in check to a degree, with glorious moments of inspired insanity erupting only occasionally.