“Greta”: Gives Isabelle Huppert the Guignol of Her Career

When an actress like Isabelle Huppert slums in a Grand Guignol schlock fest like Greta she is doing an homage to her old collaborator Claude Chabrol who cast Huppert as his femme fatale in several of his noir mysteries. The director Neil Jordan has been doing twisty mysteries ever since the shocking reveal of The Crying Game. With Huppert, Jordan has an actress who is up to delivering the grandness his Guignol deserves.

The loony stalker female genre (Fatal Attraction, Single White Female) of the 80s-90s has become passé with the advent of the #metoo movement. That leaves pretend mother-daughter violence as the cinematic filler.

What is quaintly macabre and darkly funny for one generation will just appear stupid trash for the next. Greta fills the gaping middle maw, meaning no one will ever want to watch it. The old have sworn off horror and the young will find it not enough of a blood fest.

Sadly they will be missing seeing one of Huppert more ghastly performances, in the best sense of the word. The tolerant middle, known as true film fans, will have discovered a guilty pleasure.

All photos courtesy of Focus Features.

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