Urban Cinefile
"I had a soundman working for me. One day he was wearing a dress and a wig, and as I understand it, that is the way he will work for the rest of his life"  -Steve Martin on working in Hollywood
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet  

Search SEARCH FOR A REVIEW
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

PERSONAL SHOPPER

SYNOPSIS: Maureen (Kristen Stewart) is a personal shopper to Kyra (Nora von Waldstatten), a high profile celebrity in Paris, for whom she selects striking clothes, shoes and jewellery items. But Maureen's life is complicated by the fact that her twin brother Lewis recently died and their pact meant that whoever died first would try to contact the other one from beyond.

Review by Louise Keller:
If you liked Clouds of Sils Maria, chances are you will be interested to see Olivier Assayas' latest film Personal Shopper, which offers Kristen Stewart once again a plum role, albeit in a film that struggles to make the grade. In the former, she plays a personal assistant to an acclaimed actress; here she selects designer fashion items for a celebrity and acts as a medium in her spare time. Although the screenplay feels underwritten with characters and relationships incomplete, it's nonetheless intriguing with voyeuristic elements as Assayas dishes up his ghost story and story of self-discovery. Not everything works, but the elements are compelling as is Stewart's presence.

When the film begins, we meet Stewart's Maureen, as she uses her psychic powers to ascertain if there is a ghostly presence in a large old home. On a need to know basis, we slowly discover that Maureen's twin brother Lewis has recently died and their pact involves communication from beyond. Fortunately, Maureen's day job as personal shopper to Kyra (Nora von Waldstatten) offers her enough spare time for her to wait for a sign, avoid calls from her long-distance boyfriend and research the afterlife.

She may be the same size as her celebrity employer, but trying on her clothes is strictly forbidden. The forbidden has allure however; there is no desire if it is not forbidden Maureen tells an unknown caller by text message. Who is this anonymous texter who seems to know her every move? Is he from the after life? Could it be her dead brother making contact? Or is it someone else with sinister intentions?

There is something beguiling about watching Stewart zipping through the streets of Paris on a scooter, stopping at Cartier and Chanel to collect beautiful items for her employer.
Watch for the scene in which Stewart strips off and tries on a strappy bodice in which her breasts and most of her upper torso is exposed. It is voyeuristic to the extreme. In line with the film's title, I would have liked to have a greater insight into Maureen's job and relationship with Kyra. I was curious and engaged with Stewart's character, constantly wondering where everything was going to lead. The ending left me dissatisfied.

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

PERSONAL SHOPPER (MA15+)
(France, Germany, 2016)

CAST: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz

PRODUCER: Charles Gillibert

DIRECTOR: Olivier Assayas

SCRIPT: Olivier Assayas

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Yorick Le Saux

EDITOR: Marion Monnier

MUSIC: Not credited

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Francois-Renaud Labarthe

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Rialto

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: April 13, 2017







Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017