The last Olivier Assayas’s film was Clouds of Sils Maria. It starred Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart. Stewart was so good that she won the Best supporting actress at the César. But if you have seen the young American star in her best films (see Still Alice), you know that with small nuanced details she can sketch quite a variety of characters and emotions. In Personal shopper she is Maureen, a young American woman living in Paris. She travels all over Europe buying haute couture clothes for high-profile celebrities. One of her client is French model Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten), whom Maureen seldom sees. She just drops by Kyra’s apartment to deliver the clothes. A sort of lost soul, Maureen is waiting for a sign from her dead twin brother, Lewis, who according to Maureen was an amateur medium. He died in France, and somehow Maureen feels she can’t move on unless she gets a sign. So Maureen spends her free time sleeping at Lewis’s house in the hopes that he will reach her beyond death. Lewis is not there, but other ghosts are coming to haunt her at night. And those ghosts also seems to be following her wherever she goes. Or is that her imagination? Then Maureen starts getting weird text messages from a person who refuses to name him/herself. That person is asking too many questions, daring her to wear the clothes she just bought for Kyra. Maureen knows that she is not allowed to do that, but she finds it too hard to resist. She plays along, until one night… I must stop before I reveal too much. Personal shopper is intriguing, but not entirely satisfying. It is slow and a bit depressing. The ghosts special effects are quite good. They are a scary, quiet and calming presence. One thing is sure: Kristen Stewart is quite extraordinary. She’s almost in every scenes in the movie, in every shot. But most importantly, Maureen is, at times, almost a like monologue. Kristen Stewart’s talent is undeniable.
Anders Danielsen Lie
In English, French and Spanish with English subtitles.