Personal Shopper (2017) Review

Director: Oliver Assayas

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidnger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Anders Danielsen Lie

Rating: R


Maureen Cartwright (Kristen Stewart) is a personal shopper and assistant to a French celebrity, Kyra (Nora von Waldstatten). Even with a hatred for her job, she refuses to quit and leave Paris because she wants to get in contact with her twenty-seven-year-old twin brother who has died from heart complications. During her journey, she may not like what she finds out about herself and her brother.

What The Film Did Well:

What Personal shopper does best is it comes off as very believable. This movie carries a lot of emotion through how the characters are developed and the decisions that certain characters make throughout the movie. Each character has different emotions and issues that are shown throughout the movie and these emotions make the audience more invested in the plot of the movie and what will eventually happen to the individuals.

Personal shopper does something great where it has subtleness and quietness to it that provides a great effect on the audience. There’s not a resounding score that grips the audience, but rather the audience is invested because the quiet nature of the movie has the viewers waiting for the next plot point to arise. Most movies, especially dramas, thrillers and horror films tend to come off as over blaring and loud to try and get the audience emotionally invested and add substance to the movie, but Personal Shopper does not do that. It was a unique take and something that I think more thriller films should try in the future because the method works and if used correctly can help make great movies.

Image via IFC Films

The performance Kristen Stewart was great as Maureen Cartwright. Stewart is best known for her Twilight days and because of this, she doesn’t always get the credit as an actress that I believe she deserves. Now, I get the criticisms of Stewart as she does lack some emotion in her roles and can be boring or bland, but that’s just her style of acting and for some roles it works. Her role in a small film, like Personal Shopper is where I think she is at her best. Her role on this movie was meant for a more quiet character who has been hurt before and Stewart puts forth the emotion and personality needed for the character of Maureen.


What The Film Didn’t Do Well:

There are a few points in this movie where it does begin to get bland or boring and the pacing suffers because of this. It only runs at about one hundred minutes, but for a psychological thriller it drags and is dull from time to time. To me, psychological thrillers should be up tempo and feel more like a race rather than a casual walk. I know that’s a stupid metaphor for a movie, but it’s what it felt like at times.

There are very few special effects in this movie, but when they are used they seem unnecessary and not carefully looked at or produced. I get it, it is a low budget movie made for the film festival audience, but the way they used a ghost effect in this movie just seemed lazy and almost unprofessional. I personally didn’t even think they needed any special effects and could have easily gotten away with all practical effects and props. It didn’t ruin the movie for me, but I just didn’t understand why they needed any sort of special effect in the movie as the simple psychological thriller part did enough for me.

Image via IFC Films

Final Thoughts

This was a really interesting movie to both watch and write a review on. It is the lowest budget movie I have seen and wrote about this year ($1 million) and although you can tell it had a smaller budget, it didn’t diminish the quality of the movie by any means. Personal Shopper gets a 7.0/10. It has very few flaws and was one of the better movies at Cannes in 2016.

Personal Shopper

Image via IFC Films

What do you think? Did you see Personal Shopper? Is, so comment your thoughts below! What other movies do you want to see a review of? Remember to subscribe to get updates on new posts!






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