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Director: Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria, Summer Hours, Demonlover)
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Anders Danielsen Lie, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Ty Olwin
Synopsis: By day, American in Paris Maureen works as a personal shopper, motor-biking around the city buying up deluxe couture for a jet-setting celebrity client. By night, she attempts to channel the spirits of the dead, hoping to make contact with her recently deceased twin brother. When Maureen begins receiving a series of chilling, increasingly sinister text messages, it seems she may have made contact-but with whom?
Running Time: 105 Minutes (plus 8-10 minutes of trailers)
Official Web Site:
MPAA Rating: R
Camera 3 DowntownBuy Tickets Fri at 6:30, 8:55; Sat-Sun at 1:15pm, 3:45, 6:30, 8:55; Mon at 8:55 only; Tue-Thu at 6:30, 8:55
No free passes or daily deals, but discount cards o.k.
Intriguing 'Personal Shopper' will draw you in
By Bill Goodykoontz , USA TODAY NETWORK
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, nothing Kristen Stewart did mooning around in the awful “Twilight” franchise could have predicted what a magnetic actress she has become.
The latest example of her talent: “Personal Shopper,” another pairing with writer and director Olivier Assayas, in whose “Clouds of Sils Maria” she also starred. Defying genre conventions while rising above them, the film is a ghost story and a murder mystery and a portrait of celebrity culture and ennui and who knows what else? Cellphones play a big role, so there’s that.
Stewart she plays Maureen Cartwright, for whom the title works as an accurate description: She lives in Paris and shops and runs errands for Kyra (Nora von Waldstatten), a wealthy celebrity of some form or another. Maureen hates the job and hates Kyra, whose finicky tastes are well-known among the houses of couture, which Maureen frequents to pick out clothes for her boss.
But what Maureen, who is also a medium, is really doing is, as she says, “waiting.” Not just for her life to begin, though that’s also true. She’s waiting for a sign from her twin brother, who died at 27 of the same heart ailment Maureen suffers from. She could live to be 100, her doctor tells her during an exam.
“Or 27,” she sighs.
While in the remote home in which her brother died, Maureen makes contact with some kind of spirit, but it’s not her brother (some of the ghost-story stuff is a little goofy, but Assayas and Stewart play it so straight that it works). Later, on a train trip to London, she starts getting texts from someone who seems to know a lot about her life. The mysterious stranger both scares and thrills Maureen; the person goads her into trying on the clothes she brings for Kyra, something that is expressly forbidden. Is it a stalker? Is it her brother?
A murder adds another element to the story late in the game.
Assayas doesn’t answer all the questions his film asks, but that’s fitting: Maureen is still searching, as well. And thanks to Stewart we’re willing to wait, and watch. She moves through the movie almost like a ghost herself, a controlled minimalism making us look for more. She holds the screen — but don’t ignore its edges, because Assayas puts information there, too.
“Personal Shopper” draws you in, interesting from all angles.