Time: 105 Minutes
Age Rating: Violence, offensive language and content that may disturb
Kristen Stewart as Maureen Cartwright
Lars Eidinger as Ingo
Nora von Waldstätten as Kyra
Anders Danielsen Lie as Erwin
Sigrid Bouaziz as Lara
Ty Olwin as Gary
Audrey Bonnet as Cassandre
Pascal Rambert as Jerome
Director: Olivier Assayas
A young American (Kristen Stewart) in Paris works as a personal shopper for a celebrity. She seems to have the ability to communicate with spirits, like her recently deceased twin brother. Soon, she starts to receive ambiguous messages from an unknown source.
Personal Shopper was a film that I have been hearing things about for a while, most notably that this really divided audiences and that Kristen Stewart gave a fantastic performance. Aside from that, I didn’t really know what to expect, I knew of the general plot but I didn’t watch any of the trailers. Having seen finally it, I can say that Personal Shopper is a very unique story but its overall a solid movie with an intriguing story and a fantastic lead performance by Kristen Stewart stealing the show.
Personal Shopper is the type of movie that you sort of need to make sure you don’t have any false expectations going in. Despite it involving a ghost, it’s not just a ghost movie (it’s not a horror movie at all), and also despite the title “Personal Shopper”, it’s not just all about Stewart’s job. This movie is very unconventional in its story and the way it tells its story. It is full of different plotlines, one is Kristen’s job as a personal shopper, another is the ghost story and another involving Kristen receiving text messages by some mysterious source. Not all the aspects of the plot gel that well together, and the personal shopper plotline wasn’t always interesting. With that said, I was invested in the story, it is quite different from anything I’ve seen to be honest. It did take me a while to understand the end of the movie, but when I finally did it made my opinion on the overall movie much more positive. I won’t say too much about the plot, it’s really something that you need to experience for yourself without knowing too much. This film moves at quite a slow and steady pace, most of it works but at times it’s a little too slow, even for its 1 hour and 45 minute runtime. Honestly, I don’t know if you’ll like the movie, you just sort of need to try for yourself and see if you enjoy it.
The best part of the whole film is Kristen Stewart, she is absolutely fantastic, in fact this is the best performance I’ve seen from her yet. Her character has to go through a lot in this movie and its very easy to buy her in her role. Personal Shopper is a character driven drama and everything is riding on her performance. Fortunately, Stewart is amazing, she definitely deserves a lot of praise for this. Everyone else is pretty good in their roles but Stewart is really the highlight of the cast and the movie.
The overall direction by Olivier Assayas was pretty good and worked for the movie. In the suspension scenes (even though there aren’t many), they were surprisingly effective, they were quite tense. Personal Shopper also does incredibly well at giving off an uneasy creeping feeling, you can tell that something is wrong, and this feeling is constant throughout the entire film. The direction was solid overall.
Personal Shopper is definitely a unique and different movie that not everyone is going to like. It is a bit unconventional with its story and the storytelling methods but it personally really worked for me, and I was mostly invested in the film from start to finish. I’m not sure if I’d call it a great movie but I do think that at the very least, it’s worth watching for Kristen Stewart’s fantastic performance, truly one of the best performances of the year.