Personal Shopper Review
There's not a single aspect of Olivier Assayas' latest film that is completely effective. As a horror film, it alternates between being scary and hilarious and even has theme park-level frightening moments. As a mystery-thriller , it leads you on a terrifying journey however, it leads you to an obvious conclusion. In the end the film is a chaotic heap of unfinished tasks. Although it's not as satisfying as it is in its nitty-gritty it's so brimming with the atmosphere and so enthralling as a piece of character that its flaws are, if not erased, at least, if not completely forgotten. It's a bizarre mix that it's difficult to classify, yet it relishes its eccentricity. This is the strength of its best.
Kristen Stewart is on the top of her game.
Kristen Stewart is on the most impressive performance of her career in the role of Maureen one of the most uncomfortable combination of actor and name ever since Angelina Jolie played Evelyn Salt. Maureen organizes outfits for a vile star, whom we don't notice but we hear much about behind her behind her. Maureen dislikes her job which she excels at, as well as her temporary hometown of Paris. The sole reason why she's living in the city is that her twin brother was killed there , and she's awaiting an answer from his spirit. For Maureen sees ghosts. They're not clear to her however she can see them. She's just as confused as the living. When Maureen receives texts from an unknown source, she's entangled in a telephone-based relationship that's more open than anything she's ever had in her real life. As the texts become more sinister , we, and Maureen are able to sense danger coming towards her claws aplenty however she's too scared to feel anything, or whatever it is, to stay away from it.
Stewart has been known to look uneasy on the screen, implying that she'd rather be somewhere else in movies like Twilight as well as Snow White & The Huntsman. In this role, as someone that is unable to figure out the person she is, she takes complete control. Her Maureen is at ease and comfortable moving through the motions of work, but she's a bit spiky and fast when she's pulled into an interesting conversation, and in a darkly sexually explicit sequence that sees her enjoying her boss's home and clothing while away she morphs into the confident woman she isn't sure she is. It's difficult to decide on which one of these shows portrays the real persona or if any are, but it's that slippery quality that makes her so attractive. She leaves us with a lot of questions in the final scene, exactly as a great character would. The majority of her character is performed without any dialogue. Stewart is able to create a variety of emotion to her basic process of putting messages into a mobile. (Although it's hard to tell if we're supposed to read any of it into the fact that she's the kind of selfish person who's kept her phone's key-tones on, or if the loud clanging is simply better played on the screen.) Her most recent movie featuring Assayas, Clouds Of Sils Maria was a huge success and earned Stewart the title of Cesar. She's now an actor with him like Keira Knightley was alongside Joe Wright.
There's a distinct lack of flow between scenes of Maureen wandering about a dingy mansion, waiting for spirits to come in and the ones of her having an intimate, psychosexual affair that is entirely textual when she raced around the city. This creates the impression of two films glued together. If it's messy, it's an amazing chaos. The viewer is in the same spot as Maureen in the same position: unsure of what's happening or what's in store and unable to move away.