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TORONTO 2018 Special Presentations

Review: Greta


- TORONTO 2018: Neil Jordan’s latest psychological thriller, starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe and Isabelle Huppert, delves into the world of a young waitress hunted by a mysterious woman

Review: Greta
Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz in Greta

Greta by Irish screenwriter and director Neil Jordan world-premiered in the Special Presentations section at the 43rd Toronto Film Festival. Six years after Byzantium [+see also:
film profile
, Jordan has once again created a psychological thriller starring strong female characters, co-written by himself and Ray Wright. The main character in Greta is Frances, a young woman from Boston (played by Chloë Grace Moretz, Carrie) who moves to New York after the death of her mother, whom she is unable to mourn, unlike her father. During this painful stage in her life, the twenty-year-old avoids having to think too much by waitressing in a Manhattan restaurant and enjoying the joyful presence of her friend and roommate Erica (Maika Monroe, from It Follows and The Guest). However, her life will soon change forever when she meets a mysterious French woman called Greta. 

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Frances and Greta's first encounter (played by the impeccable Isabelle Huppert) seems to happen by chance. When the young woman finds an expensive handbag left on the subway, she doesn’t hesitate to return it to its rightful owner, showing up at the address on the ID she finds in the handbag, unaware that Greta is already waiting for her. The young orphan and the female pianist, who misses her Parisian daughter, will soon weave a symbolic mother-daughter bond that goes far beyond mere friendship.

The fact that Greta is a psychopath is obvious from the start. However, the fear comes with not knowing how far she is willing to go. Neil Jordan demonstrates that Greta is a stalker from the get-go (no one knows whether she is dangerous or not), crossing paths with Frances several times. Greta's character follows the same pattern as the main character in Paranoia by Steven Soderbergh. The first two thirds of both psychological thrillers are dedicated to the inexplicable cohabitation of the harasser and the harassed, while the last third is marked by an explosion of horror and violence. 

Greta is a macabre retelling of Hansel and Gretel, with the appearance of a 90s American psychological thriller. It is a terrifying story about the wickedness and perdition of loneliness, with nods to both Paul Verhoeven and Brian de Palma.

Greta was produced by the American companies Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Lawrence Bender Productions and the Irish outfit Metropolitan Films.

(Translated from Spanish)

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