GFF Review: Personal Shopper gets personal. Kind of.

Published

Credit: Jordi Carrasco

Kate Snowdon
Editor in Chief

Personal Shopper is set to release in cinemas on 3 March

Flaunting its Cannes award for Best Director, Personal Shopper was billed as an “elegant fusion of supernatural chiller and psychological drama” as it waltzed into a cushy Saturday night slot at the Glasgow Film Festival. Supernatural chiller and psychological drama it might have been, but “elegant fusion” it was not. Whilst Kristen Stewart brought emotion and character to an otherwise unspeakably convoluted film, it was simply not enough to overcome the startling lack of coherence the script displayed.

Stewart’s character is a personal shopper, as the title could tell you, but she’s also so much more. She’s a medium. But not only that, twins with another medium. Who’s dead. And she has a partner in a generic Eastern country. But she struggles with wanting to wear her employer’s clothes. Which seems to be vaguely sexual in nature? And her employer is dead and Stewart is implicated. So, briefly, she’s trying to contact her brother’s ghost while dealing with family politics, property sale, a murder case, an inferiority complex, a long distance relationship, a job she hates… Did I miss anything? Oh, a stalker too! Who may or may not be dead.

The incredibly complex and hilariously unrelated plot aspects fail to reach any semblance of coherence, which makes the incredibly beautiful mise en scene and locations pointless. Speaking of which, why are there so many locations? Within the first twenty minutes, we’ve been in four different locations with Stewart, and it was honestly hard to follow where she was actually meant to be living. Another kick in the teeth is the constant use of mobile phone correspondence in a movie that had the budget to end the film in Morocco for no reason. They couldn’t have thought of a better way to show her communicating than a third of the shots being close ups of an iPhone?

Overall, the ghost looks unconvincing, the clothes are visually pleasing, Kristen Stewart’s performance is impressive, but the rest of the characters lack development, and so does the plot. Worst of all, however, I had to watch Kristen Stewart masturbate in glorious HD as I sit in a busy cinema, for art.