Greta

This past weekend was a busy one for me, so I did not get to go to the theater when I normally would have gone. I also did not pay attention to what was coming out this weekend. Thus, when I looked and saw the only new movie was something called Greta, I said “What????” On the Flixster app, which I used to look up films’ starting times, the only clip they had was an out-of-context segment of the film that gave zero clues as to what to expect from this film. But then I thought, the heck with it, and went to the theater without digging up any further preview.

This might have been a mistake in hindsight, although there was a severe lack of choice anyway. Still, it was nice to see Chloë Grace Moretz (Frances McCullen) still alive (given the lifestyles of many celebrities, I tend to worry that they are no longer among the living when they are not heard from for a while). I loved her in the two Kick Ass movies. Yet she just seemed bored for most of this film, and during the first half of it I sat there and watched a pretty standard psychological drama play out between her and the title character, Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert).

If you truly care by this point, I guess I will say “spoiler alert” from here on out. About halfway through Greta, it switches from the desperation of Greta in keeping Frances in her life, to some kind of kidnapping/slasher plot where Frances fights for survival after falling into the rather wispy clutches of the antagonist. I say wispy because because, despite Frances’ youth and apparent health (she seems to ride a bike everywhere in New York City, and inside her apartment, for some reason), she is unable to overpower the comparatively elderly Greta. After Frances’ abduction, the ridiculousness of the movie spiked. At one point she manages to cut off one of Greta’s finger along with knocking her out with a rolling pin. Yet what does Frances do? Runs into the basement! Ugh. So until the inevitable rescue at the end of the film, I sat there shifting uncomfortably back and forth in my seat as a string of stupid acts played themselves out.

Another thing that annoyed me with Greta was the injection of faith into the title character. It is established that while she may not believe in God (and I can think of many who call themselves Catholic but struggle with that idea), she at least has a Catholic background. Yay! Another loony Catholic in American film (see my dissertation, The Costumed Catholic, for all the information you would ever want to know on this subject)! At one point Greta says “It is okay to light a candle even if you don’t believe,” then crosses herself. The point of the film is not to say Catholicism is evil, and I am admittedly triggered by such images. However, this aspect of the plot could have easily been dispensed with as it had zero bearing on the story.

Ultimately, it was just another weekend, and Captain Marvel and next weekend cannot come soon enough.

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