Personal Shopper is a melting pot of blessings and curses. For one it’s driven by Kristen Stewart who’s taking the world by storm. The young woman is magnetising to look at. She thinks on screen and she could carry a silent film from beginning to end. It’s proposing a story based on a good premise. In this day and age, Kristen’s character is a medium, connecting to spirits and all, but since it’s not something that pays the rent, she’s the personal assistant of a celebrity, for whom she’s buying clothes and jewellery. A while ago, she lost her twin brother, also a medium, who made a pledge to her, that he’ll make contact from the other world. Great, let’s roll!
But it’s at this moment that curses begin to abound. For the script offers us a fake lead in the form of sms texts that Kristen receives, suggesting they might come from the other world. It doesn’t take long before this gets silly. And in a brutal lack of imagination we get to spend an awful amount of time being forced to read texts off the screen of an iPhone. Some CGI ghosts begin to hover as well. Stories listened (over youtube) about painter Hilma af Klint and writer Victor Hugo making contact as well are placed as to convince us. Glasses fall out and break out of the blue.
BUT, for all its quirkiness, the film still manages to be evocative. It’s quite heavy at times, quite sexy as well. It’s choices are fresh at many times. Just don’t let that Cannes “Best Director” accolade put too much pressure on it. Or you.
Oliver Assayas and Kristen Stewart’s previous effort together, Clouds of Sils Maria is a masterpiece.
(Award was ex-aequo-ed with our own national pride, Cristian Mungiu’s “Baccalaureate”)