In Brief: Ghosts and fashion shopping aren’t a good mix.
Kristen Stewart is Maureen Cartwright. She’s a medium whose twin brother died of complications from heart disease. Maureen has the same health issue. The twin was also a medium but one with much more talent than Maureen. He promised to reach out to her from beyond.
Maureen spends time in the house where he died in an attempt to make that happen. Instead she encounters the very unhappy ghost of a woman who vomits ectoplasm and disappears. Maureen thinks the ghost’s disgorging of the ectoplasm has ended her torment and she’s moved on
Or has she?
The other half of the morose Maureen’s story is her job. She’s a personal shopper for a supermodel of some sort. The woman has no time for shopping so she sends Maureen here and there — from Paris to London — to buy dresses and jewelry and shoes. On one trip someone starts texting her.
Is it the ghost? Her brother? Or…?
Personal Shopper is written and directed by Olivier Assayas who also did Clouds of Sils Maria with Stewart and Juliette Binoche. Two dimensional stories with one dimensional characters are his specialty. His movie is dark and packed with imagery but not much else.
Stewart — who correctly continues to try to shake Twilight’s career killer Bella — again shows that she’s an actress who has just one shtick. It’s sulking, brooding and being depressed. She can do little else and — other than baring her bosom — doesn’t show us much here either.
Personal Shopper — personally speaking — is not a very good ghost story. As a character study it’s not very good either. You don’t care about Maureen or anyone else in this overly long, predictable and pointless movie exercise. Yes, it beats those cheesy commercial affairs that have things popping out at you from stage right or left punctuated with loud sounds and effects. What it doesn’t do is frighten, or cause you much concern for her safety or make you even care if she connects with her sibling or not.
Director: Olivier Assayas
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eudinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Ty Olwin
Rated R for nudity and mature themes. Personal Shopper won’t make Average Joe Movie’s movie shopping list. Give it a 1 on the 0 to 5 scale.
Click here for showtimes and theaters.
5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.
Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.
Got a movie suggestion or comment? Email him!