Greta (15)**

Dir: Neil Jordan

With: Chloë Grace Moretz, Isabelle Huppert, Zawe Ashton

Runtime: 99 minutes

NEIL Jordan, helmer of The Crying Game, returns to the big screen with this bizarre chiller, a Gallic-Irish-American Single White Female effort with added lashings of crazy.

Chloe Grace Moretz plays Frances McCullen, a young waitress sharing a loft with her rich bestie in Manhattan. One day, Frances is leaving the subway when she sees a chic handbag on a seat. After trying and failing to hand it in to lost property, she decides to return it personally to its owner, the titular Greta, because, she explains, that’s the kind of thing people do where she comes from (which turns out to be Boston, hardly Hick Town).

Played by Isabelle Huppert, leading lady of French cinema and usually able to make anything watchable, Greta is a Brooklyn dwelling lady of a certain age who admits to loneliness now that her husband is no longer around and her daughter is studying in France. With Frances having recently lost her mother, it looks like a beautiful friendship might grow out of a lost and found item. So why, only a short while later, does Frances wish she had acted like a native New Yorker on spying the bag and called the bomb squad?

It is just one of many mysteries, chief of which is what on earth Huppert’s agent was thinking, encouraging her to take part in this schlockfest. Every unbelievable move is signalled in advance by a shrieking score, leaving the two leads to do what little they can to rescue the film’s credibility, a task which turns out to be beyond even their considerable talents.

Poor Huppert keeps popping up out of nowhere like one half of The Shining twins, looking as bewildered as the viewer feels, while Moretz is made to seem the epitome of helplessness.

As ripe as year old fruit, there are some unintentionally amusing moments that could guarantee the film a future as a camp classic, but otherwise this picture is destined to find a home in that unwelcome old file from the past marked, “All old women are bonkers”. Flaming cheek.