Quick Hit: Over ambitious and hilariously artsy, this film spirals a bit out of control and is only slightly stabilized by Stewart’s admirable performance.
I often cruise different film sites (obviously other than my own) to look for different films. I’m consistently trying to expand my film outlook, because I think it’s important as a reviewer to be rounded in the types of films you watch. This works for two reasons – one: it keeps you from repeating yourself. If you at least have different material to work with, you can select different words, even if you are saying the same thing. Second, it also allows you to grow as a reviewer. There are many movies and films I never would have considered had it not been for DFP – I’ve grown tremendously as a film person in the short eighteen or so months.
So that’s how Personal Shopper ended up on my radar. A lot of times, films that get ranted over and have generally favorable Metacritic and Rotten Tomato scores get fairly favorable reviews from me as well. However, this is not one of those times.
I considered Personal Shopper to be an exercise in trying to make an artsy film, and it led to an exercise in me trying to stay awake.
Personal Shopper follows Kristen Stewart as she shops around Paris and tries to communicate with her dead twin brother’s spirit.
I’m not kidding – that’s the plot. And there is a lot of following Ms. Stewart around as she shops. There’s also a subplot involving a murder and a boyfriend, and her boss being a total mean person. However, there seems to be no coherent thread to follow throughout. The film comes off as a random series of moments leading to a Got-Ya finale.
The films editing and filming helps to accomplish that same goal. We frequently follow Ms. Stewart around corners and between objects, and the camera angle jumps around just as it would if it was a person following her. It leads to a feeling of disquiet and angst throughout the film that is amped up by Stewart’s performance. It is the saving grace in the mess of a film that features poor effects that are essentially the smoke monster from Lost, only worse because it’s white and harder to see.
I couldn’t handle this film, and am only giving it a “D+”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"