It’s not too hard to see what problems people might have with the film. Most of the second act is just the protagonist commuting and reading
messages on her phone, and there’s something about the delivery of dialogue that
approaches arty-stilted. The whole atmosphere is uncanny and
diffracted, and this could be taken as the awkward miss-steps of
talentlessness. It’s not. Pay attention, and you’ll see that it thrives in the space between genres and
This is appropriate: Personal
Shopper’s story deals with the in-between space of purgatory. Maureen
(Kristen Stewart) is a spiritual medium making a living as a personal shopper
in Paris; between buying clothes for a rich IT girl, she visits a large house
in the countryside where she attempts to contact her deceased twin brother.
first it looks like Personal Shopper is
going to keep its audience guessing whether or not ghosts exist, but any speculation
is ended early on by some unambiguous special effects. Instead, director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria) finds far more
sophisticated ways to create uncertainty. As the two strands of Maureen’s life
– schlepping designer trousers and contacting the dead – knit together, it’s
impossible to tell where the story is going.
It’s hard to classify Personal
Shopper as a horror film, or even as a ghost story. Whereas the excellent Under the Shadow had an almost
smothering sense of dread, Assayas is content to evoke something like chilly
mystery. His interest seems to be with something other than the film’s apparent
preoccupations. By the end, it’s not even clear which things have been left
takes up residence in your mind until you address it or watch it again. In
other words: it haunts you.
Read our interview with Oliver Assayas about Personal Shopper here.
|What||Personal Shopper film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
17 Mar 17 – 17 May 17, Times vary
|Price||£determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here for more details|