Personal Shopper (2016)

Director: Olivier Assayas Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigird Bouaziz, Nora Von Waldstratten. USA/UK/France. 1h 45m

At times it’s easy to forget that Personal Shopper is a horror movie. If you’re into something which burns slow but delivers a whack at the end then this might feel like it’s let you down, but there is a huge revelation at the end but it might not be what you were expecting. At times it’s mundane and even dull, but Assatas’ genius technique is to force the viewer to not to see what’s coming so when something does stand out it has a larger impact. It’s not hard to connect Kirsten Stewart to keywords such as “Blank” and at times it’s a perfect emotion for the film that deals all too honestly with grief, alienation and death.

She came looking for a sign…

Kirsten plays Maureen, a young woman who’s recently lost her twin brother to a heart condition, one that they share. We never really meet her brother even through flashbacks but we understand that he was a medium and had strong beliefs in the afterlife. The pair promised to make contact if one died so now she is a bit of a ghost buster by night sleeping alone in abandoned houses seeking spirits and desperately trying to connect with her brother, and by day she’s a glamorous Personal Shopper for a prominent fashionista.

The movie refuses to be straight forwards and there will be a few key scenes which will feel a little bit Lars Von Trier, but the story thrives on the viewer being a little unsettled, usually it’s by Maureen’s ghostly adventures but there are two other prominent characters, Kyra (Waldstatten), Maureen’s employer and her creepy lover, Ingo (Eidinger) who each use Maureen as a shoulder to cry on as they attempt a sort of breakup. Meanwhile Maureen quietly looks for signs from the dead, travels around Paris and London trying to 25K dresses, until a horrendous murder is committed a reminder that the ghosts are the last thing to be afraid of?

“So we made this oath… Whoever died first would send the other a sign.”


There’s a big possibility that you, like I missed the *aha* moment right at the end, it’s so freaking subtle and might spark you to want to see the movie again, but I’ll give you a little clue, don’t forget that the movie is seen from Maureen’s perspective, only! but if you don’t get it secrets or run away with a wrong theory it’s easy to rubbish the movie. But you’ll be dismissing a delightful; Hitchcockian thriller with a very heartfelt undercurrent that makes for a very new and wonderful ghost story unlike all the rest.


Rating: 6/10

Related: Interstellar (2014), Clouds of Sils Maria (2014),
Lists: Mediums and Psychics


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