When the starry-eyed and desperately lonely Frances (Chloe Moretz) discovers a chic handbag on the subway, the New York City waitress does the only thing she knows how to do: the right thing. Soon, the Boston transplant is trundling off to a tiny, incongruous cottage in the middle of Brooklyn to deliver the purse to its rightful owner. That’s Greta, the titular character of Neil Jordan’s latest B-movie delight, a charming Isabelle Huppert who pulls the shy Frances right into her web of female obsession.
Initially, “Greta” tracks the growing bond between Frances and Greta — both lonesome Gothamites seemingly looking for a companion — before Greta’s obvious insanity takes center stage (with Huppert loving every minute), forcing the sweet Frances to come to terms with the fact that she hasn’t found a new mother figure, she’s been found by a nutty predator. What initially seemed like a slightly stiff drama soon turns into one of Jordan’s most (intentionally, we hope) overwrought confections, bolstered by full-throttle performances and the sense that nothing is quite what it seems.
When the film premiered at September’s Toronto International Film Festival, this critic wrote of its unexpected charms: “As Frances tries to pull away, Greta goes nutty, and Jordan and Huppert stage a batshit stalker film for the ages, a modern tale of obsession that finds its footing in scenes as silly as Greta taking menacing photos (well framed, though!), standing outside Frances’ workplace for hours on end, and eventually flipping a table in a crowded restaurant. Bolstered by [Javier] Navarrete’s over-the-top score, each scene moves from scary to hilarious in the minimum of time, and that’s well before it really gets to its most bonkers twists.”
It’s nuts, but it’s also oh-so-fun. Check out the first trailer for “Greta” below. Focus Features will release “Greta” on March 1, 2019.