#REVIEW: “PERSONAL SHOPPER”
Review by Amanda Gilmore for Mr. Will Wong
Kristen Stewart shines once again in her second collaboration with Director Olivier Assayas.
The Film follows Maureen (Kristen Stewart) who is working in Paris as a personal shopper for a celebrity. She, and her late twin bother, have the ability to communicate with spirits. When they were young they promised each other that whoever dies first will send the other a sign to let them know their safe. And when Maureen begins receiving texts from an unknown number she begins wondering if it’s her brother, a different spirit, or neither.
Personal Shopper is a very refreshing take on the ghost story genre. What makes it so captivating to watch is its ambiguity. Everything that happens in the Film is completely up to the interpretation of the viewer. And Assayas does a wonderful job creating a sense of eeriness and orchestrating suspense. At times we’re not even sure if the Director knows the answers himself.
That being said, Personal Shopper succeeds largely on the performance of Stewart. Through Stewart’s eyes, the viewer is seeing what she sees. Yet, what she’s seeing is uncertain to her. She can never tell if what she’s experiencing is actually happening. For a large portion of the Film, her scene partner is a cellphone, on which she is receiving text messages from an unknown number. Her ability to react and act to the messages with such conviction and intensity is spellbinding. It’s a flawless performance from an actress in a role almost tailor-made for her.
Personal Shopper one one level is a ghost story but also a story about coping with grief. Assayas and Stewart are perfect together and we were unable to keep our eyes off the screen. While not everyone will leave Personal Shopper with answers and certainty, some will find plenty to love about it.
Mongrel Media release PERSONAL SHOPPER on Friday, March 24, 2017.