Personal Shopper Movie Review
Kristen Stewart wanders around and texts a ghost in Personal Shopper, a mesmerizingly forgettable drama-thriller designed to make me feel stupid.
Because I don’t get it.
The plot is straightforward enough: Stewart plays a young woman who works as a personal shopper for a rich, bitchy socialite, but who also is a medium who is attempting to contact her dead twin brother because that’s what twins do because twins are weird and creepy. Strange things start to happen, including a broken glass and text messages, and… well, that’s about it.
Personal Shopper offers no real resolution or reason for existing, not that I expected such from writer-director Olivier Assayas, whose last critically acclaimed movie (Clouds of Sils Maria) also starred Kristen Stewart and was at times equally nuanced. It’s one of those movies I can’t entirely slam because it has good acting and writing and is generally well made, but is also crafted for the cinephile and film critic who like to describe such forgettable movies as “profound,” “powerful,” and even “scary,” (seriously, I’ve looked at some other reviews to try and understand the film more, and these are literally the inaccurate words that popped out to me) even though there isn’t a single scary or thrilling thing to be found throughout. Personal Shopper is a drama that needs to be analyzed and peeled away to get anything of substance, and it simply isn’t worth the effort.
The best part about the movie: Kristen Stewart, who continues to distance herself from her Twilight fame with another strong, interesting and emotional performance that is yet another reminder that she is one of the best actresses working today. She alone manages to elevate the material to something mildly engaging, even if a good chunk of her screen time involves her wandering around a dusk-dark haunted house, trying on sexy clothes and sending text messages.
There’s surely some meat to be found here if you really want to exert yourself, and those critics and cinephiles I described earlier have certainly found some profound, powerful and scary innards to indulge in. But for the other 99% of you reading this, Personal Shopper is a nothing-there venture, an overly nuanced affair that lacks tension, suspense or even noteworthy drama, at least for a stupid-head like me.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.