“Personal Shopper” Review ✦✦✦✦✧

24 March, 2017

Director: Olivier Assayas
Screenwriter: Olivier Assayas
Director of Photography: Yorick Le Saux
Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Nora von Waldstätten

Synopsis: An American medium whose twin brother died of a heart attack in Paris searches for ways to contact her sibling while working in Europe as a personal shopper for an impertinent celebrity.

Personal Shopper Review:

A sparsely arranged yet truly consequential search for identity, “Personal Shopper” is a tenebrous follow-up to “Clouds of Sils Maria” and it sees Kristen Stewart bare all in another stimulating Assayas art piece. Fascinated by Stewart’s real life introversion and insecurity, the movie captures the essence of her image, catching the breadth of her celebrity lifespan as both an A-List actress and indie icon through a tale of behind-the-scenes application and hereditary clairvoyance. Outwardly odd and uniquely conceptualised, the story becomes a preformative playground for Assayas’ newly discovered muse as yet another ethereal drama comes to life with K-Stew framed in front and centre as the film’s vital enigma.

Lacking enthusiasm yet always wrapped up in a whirlwind of stress and emotion, Stewart opts for naturalism and gets our full attention in return as she sulks and stutters her way through a puzzling script while following the breadcrumbs of her character’s unmapped trajectory. Testing our brains and our concentration, Assayas hints at two possible outcomes and delivers both while conflicting explanations tug and pull, making viewers aware of their own assumptions while filling in the gaps. Impossible to predict yet entirely in line with Assayas’ creative sensibilities, “Personal Shopper” finds art in eeriness as intense ghostly encounters become crucial moments within a larger, mournful context.

Offered to viewers in disquieting moments of spiritual contact, the film’s unearthly callings are linked to the measured beats of Assayas’ character study as solitary séances become the crucial drive within his ambiguously plotted movie. Fascinating to unpack and evaluate, “Personal Shopper” presents its ghostly encounters as tangible, and terrifying observations, producing eerie apparitions and confining them to the experience of one character. The result is one of initial confusion and misinterpretation as creepy text messages from an unknown contact push Stewart into exploring herself in unexpected ways, making us wonder where the line is drawn for the young medium and whether any answers can truly satiate her inner desires.


Review Date
Personal Shopper