Starring Kristen Stewart Directed by Olivier Assayas
Kristen Stewart in the title role is an American in Paris, working as a personal shopper for a celebrity while trying to contact the spirit of her deceased twin brother. She wanders his home, and starts receiving SMS messages from a mysterious source: could it be her own id?
Personal Shopper premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival to a chorus of boos, only for Olivier Assayas to end up winning Best Director. It’s that kind of a movie, an uncategorisable supernatural psychological thriller sure to polarise.
Assayas is perhaps best known among Asian audiences as the French director of Hongkong actress Maggie Cheung’s 1996 Irma Vep, once married to Cheung. His storytelling rhythms are unsettling, cutting away mid-scene. The story itself can be frustrating with lines sometimes stupid.
But there’s no looking away from Stewart’s performance as a frayed, restless young woman haunted by ghostly voices in what is ultimately an arresting study of existential isolation.
The ’tween heroine of The Twilight Saga has matured into quite an actress. In French with English subtitles. (* * * ½) Photo: Shaw Organisation