As you probably know by now, I love Kristen Stewart so will watch anything with her in, for better (Clouds of Sils Maria) or worse (Certain Women, see review). Personal Shopper falls squarely between those. It’s okay, I liked it, but I don’t know if I got it.
She plays Maureen, a personal shopper working in Paris for Kyra, a high-profile celeb. She’s only doing that so she can stay in Paris to wait for a sign from her recently-deceased twin brother Lewis. She occasionally stays in his old house to hopefully connect with it but ends up making contact with a much darker presence.
This got booed at one of its first Cannes screenings and received a standing ovation at another so this shows just how polarising it is. I did like it, Stewart’s performance was fantastic although not exactly anything new, and I was captivated by it for the majority (the end dragged a bit) but I wasn’t sure what it was trying to be or trying to say. It can’t be a horror cos it’s not scary enough and even for a thriller, the thrills are few and far between.
There is no resolution and that generally pisses me off. Maureen is harassed by somebody via text and things get progressively worse but you don’t definitely find out who it is. Moments where that clarity could have been given were left deliberately ambiguous so I’m left thinking “what does it all mean?” It can be interpreted many different ways and I would rather a definitive answer.
Stewart, in her second collaboration with Clouds director Olivier Assayas, is in every scene and you are just drawn to her. Her character and performance are so distinctly Stewart, the tomboy, muttering, moody type but I like her schtick so that works for me. She also strips off and has a masturbation scene so I must applaud her bravery!
There are some moments of tension and the horror movie sensation of something about to happen always gets me but you also knew that Maureen wouldn’t get hurt. It’s a good character drama though with some added thrills. I just wish I understood it because having come so far with Maureen to be left in the dark felt mean and unfair. It felt way longer than 1 hour 45 mins too.
In cinemas Friday 17th March