To categorise Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper is a difficult task because it is unlike any film I have seen before. Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, a young woman working as a personal shopper who is grieving the loss of her twin brother. The film centres on this grief, and presents a collection of plots that at times felt displaced. From suspenseful scenes with the lingering presence of ghosts to an unsettling stalker mystery, the narrative mixes genres and tells many diverse stories at once. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however the film will only appeal to a select audience.
The tonal shifts in the film develop a suspenseful and intense atmosphere. It is unpredictable because it is such a unique narrative. Despite this, at times Personal Shopper felt like a jagged and unsolved puzzle that didn’t make sense. Plot holes were left open in obscure ways and some scenes seemed just so out of place it was confusing. It is with this that the film will not be loved by everyone. Having said that, Stewart’s performance is outstanding. She portrays the grieving Maureen with conviction and is engaging throughout the film.
I can appreciate the originality of the narrative and found Personal Shopper to be refreshing and interesting however its obscurity kept me from loving it.
Review by Samuel Sunter