Film: Personal Shopper (Assayas) – 2.5/4
“Personal Shopper” is a good film. It flirts with genres like horror and thriller, but what it really is – a drama. It spares supernatural moments and keeps you questioning reality.
While the plot makes for a solid flick, what really sells it is Kristen Stewart. The film is a character study, the title based on the career of our lead protagonist Maureen Cartwright.
A movie can tell you a lot by what it shows you, but sometimes it can tell you even more but what it omits. What makes “clapping” clapping is as much the hand motion and collision as it is quiet moments in bewteen.
Toward the conclusion of this film a lot is omitted. I’m still internally debating if this was a good decision – inviting ambiguity like this into a character drama. We never fully know if our protagonist had an substantial arch.
It’s weird that this is my complaint, because I can see someone else loving it for the same purpose.
While I felt this was a good film, it did one thing brilliantly and it is owed to both the writers and the performer (Stewart).
In a film like this we need to know the main character to draw our investments. This is successful with little to no gratuitous exposition. I’ve never seen a character built-up with such ease. It felt effortless.
Maureen is someone to us in the beginning. As we follow her we learn more about her. Soon we’re invited to peek into her private and personal life at the deepest of levels and we don’t judge, we understand.