Personal Shopper Reviews
Im really sad to say that Personal Shopper isnt perfect, cause if it where, it could easily be in my top 3 of the year, but because its not, its like in my top 7.
The kind of film one will have to watch over to see what was missed the first time; there are a few surprises worth the wait through the moments when you're wondering what is this all leading up to?
The "Critics Consensus" mentions "jarring tonal shifts" and I agree on this point. "Personal Shopper" moves from one scene to the next and often the mood has shifted to a spot that feels out of place, considering what just occurred.
It takes some time to catch up to just what roles each character is playing; just a little more back-story would have taken much of the guess-work I found myself indulging in to understand who certain characters were: family members, employers, ex-lovers or current ones? Definitely need to pay close attention to what's taking place, who is who, and what they do and why.
I will say the ending was worth the wait (for a some-what short film, this one felt 30 minutes longer than it was.) But anyone expecting horror, or typical scares found in "paranormal" films like this will be sorely disappointed. Nor do I suggest they even bother watching...that crowd will be bored stiff.
Stewart quietly illuminates as a reluctant "spirit medium" who currently works as the Girl Friday to a starlet. Expecting to find a signal from beyond created by her recently deceased twin Brother, she exudes nervousness, awkwardness, and a sense she's out of her depth. But she also shines when pushed to be more than just someone's stooge. And indeed, those watching closely will see the very signs Maureen seeks to put her mind at rest.
An odd, somewhat disjointed, but compelling film. The "mystery" concerning Maureen's star employer felt out-of-place, but otherwise "Shopper" definitely keeps you wondering where we're going as we watch.
This fucking incredible wonderful brilliant actress takes you on a journey. And you experience it with her. Because she is so utterly fucking convincing. Watching this movie is like experiencing her life. Her incredible inner life.
I'm utterly blown away. This is a master of her craft at work. As to the movie? It's brilliant. It is immaculate. Yes, it showcases the talents of an incredible actress, but the rest of the production rises to her incredible standard.
So is it scary? Well that is something you have to find out for yourself.
Ladies and Gentleman, I would like to introduce you to Kristen Stewart. She is about to take you by the hand and draw you into her world.
Shit man, she is so fucking incredible. And the fucking movie is fucking awesome. On a Rotten Tomato scale, this should be every fucking tomato that ever went onto a pizza.
DVD Movie Review: Personal Shopper
Date Viewed: July 4 2017
Written and Directed By Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Carlos, Something in the Air, Clouds of Sils Maria, Demonlover and Boarding Gate)
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Nora Von Waldstätten, Anders Danielsen Lie, Sigrid Bouaziz, Ty Olwin, Audrey Bonnet, Pascal Rambert, Hammond Graia and Benjamin Biolay.
"Personal Shopper" is an intriguing and tasteful thriller that might frustrate people with it's lack of thrills but Kristen Stewart is terrific here as an American personal shopper who partakes in several detours in her late brother's mansion where she hopes to possibly make contact with him. Stewart has really been taking chances lately with these riveting roles. From "Clouds of Sils Maria" to "Still Alice" to "Certain Women" to "Camp X-Ray", she has really put her Bella Swan persona to rest. Stewart is really becoming an actress but the "Twilight" haters don't seem to think so.
It's pacing might be slow but "Personal Shopper" is still a very good movie. Mostly set in Paris, the film centers around Maureen (Stewart), a personal shopper for a really famous fashion model named Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten). Maureen is still grieving over the death of her twin brother, Lewis and she searches any signs of his presence in his old mansion. Lewis' girlfriend, Lara (Sigrid Bouaziz) is planning to sell the mansion and the potential buyers want Maureen to find out if the house is free from ghosts or any spiritual presence.
Suddenly one night, she hears clanking noises and she thinks that it might be the spirit of her brother. She thinks so because both of them had the same genetic heart problem, they were both interested in spiritualism and had connections to their universe. While neglecting her Skype-chatting boyfriend, Gary (Ty Olwin), Maureen gets involved in a bizarre relationship with an unknown texter who keeps texting her a series of personal questions. Could this mysterious person be somebody Maureen knows, we don't know who he is and that's what keeps the movie engaging. On the spiritual stuff involving the twin brother, is he really present in the mansion? Is Maureen really the spirit of her late brother? Or is it just all in her imagination?
The film keeps us intrigued until the very end and the very respected writer and director Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Demonlover, Boarding Gate, Something in the Air, Carlos, Clouds of Sils Maria) has crafted a tricky tightrope of a premise. "Personal Shopper" also benefits as an impressive character study and as a chilling thriller. Kristen Stewart's performance is tough to shake off and the movie underpins it's themes of communication, grief and loss solidly well. "Personal Shopper" is something of a mystery indeed, it's such a smart thriller even Hitchcock would be impressed by it.
If we allow Stewart the chance to grow and to mature, director Assayas has given Stewart, and all her familiar mannerisms, brooding and twitches, plenty of room to breathe and explore in Personal Shopper. And it affords her plenty of room to really get underneath who she is an actor. Cerebral. Patient. Silent.
This feeds into a story that manages to be a reflection of these same characteristics. Playing a personal "high fashion" shopper for wealthy pop culture icons, her character juxtaposes the frivolous nature of her day to day activity with the burden of her own grief. Having recently lost her twin brother, she is grappling with what it means to come to terms with this loss in a career that teaches her what it means to mask her true emotion by covering it up. And so the film offers us plenty in the way of the introspective process. Plenty of silence, even in the moments where, as a viewer, I found myself wanting the story to move out of these places. Instead it asks me to simply sit, to let the process find its own way.
Behind her job as a personal shopper is Maureen's (Stewart) complicated relationship with her past as an experimental "medium". This element infuses her journey through loss with an innate spiritual longing that informs the grieving process and forms the tension between what, or who, this mysterious aberration that shows up actually is. Is it her brother? Is it some mysterious stalker? Is it her own imagination, a product of her own mental state? Here both actor and director lend the film a certain sense of ambiguity that could frustrate viewers with its open ended-ness. There are a lot of unanswered questions in the film, and depending on your own perception and your own inclination, you could fall on one side or the other of these questions. But it does accurately depict, in my opinion, the struggle between faith and certainty that flows out of the pain that we carry in these kinds of circumstances. There are no easy answers, and this film doesn't pretend to offer any. As a horror film of sorts, this is where it mines it most horrifying features.
But where this ambiguity lingers and festers, we also find a hopeful thrust towards the art of moving forward in the pain. Hers is a question of how to move forward, of learning what it means to live again, of whether she will allow the spirit of her brother to hold her back or push her forward. And the way that works through this question over the course of the film offers us a poignant picture of what it means to give ourselves to that forming process, for as uncertain and as painful as it is. It is a picture of an internal struggle looking to break out of the prison that holds it captive, and it reminds us through all of its spiritual and emotional longing, that there is room to grow, there is room to hope. And that is something that makes the horror of the films questions all the more pertinent and important.