Movie Review: Personal Shopper (NC16)
Kristen Stewart has found herself a director who appreciates her style.
Her first partnership with French arthouse filmmaker Olivier Assayas in the 2014 drama, Clouds Of Sils Maria, freed her from the shackles of The Twilight Saga and even gave her a best supporting actress Cesar Award, the French equivalent of the Oscar.
This is their second collaboration, and it fits Stewart like a glove.
One word that best describes Personal Shopper is weird.
It is a mixed bag of character drama, supernatural flick and mystery-thriller. Each genre does not stand on its own — the supernatural/horror portion is laughable — but when put together, it works simply because of Stewart.
She plays Maureen, an emo, grieving American living in Paris. Maureen works as a personal shopper and errand runner for a French actress. She also works on the side as a medium because she can sense the presence of ghosts. The only reason she’s in Paris and taking on the personal shopping job, one that she detests, is because she’s waiting for a sign from her recently dead twin brother.
Stewart, who mostly looks out of place in Hollywood flicks like Snow White And The Huntsman (2012), is seemingly at home playing someone who has a love-hate relationship with celebrity life.
Her part-tomboyish part-feminine style works well for the character too.
Maureen is perfectly at home in jeans and shirts, and riding a Vespa. Yet, she also covets her employer’s high-fashion, luxury clothes and shoes.
Stewart has a firm handle on the art of being an enigma.
This is practically a one-woman show, and because of the lack of dialogue, it’s all up to her facial expressions and body language to convey the emotions. She does well, especially in the scenes where she’s communicating with a mysterious party via text messages.
Like its leading lady, Personal Shopper is not an instantly likeable film. But when you’ve warmed up to it, you’ll discover its quirky charms.