Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
France/Germany/Czech Republic/Belgium, 2016. CG Cinéma, Vortex Sutra, Sirena Film, Detailfilm, Arte France Cinema, ARTE, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Arte France, Canal+, Cine@, SCOPE Invest. Screenplay by Olivier Assayas. Cinematography by Yorick Le Saux. Produced by Charles Gillibert. Production Design by François-Renaud Labarthe. Costume Design by Jürgen Doering. Film Editing by Marion Monnier. Cannes Film Festival 2016. Online Film Critics Awards 2016. Toronto International Film Festival 2016.
Olivier Assayas throws a little supernatural fun into a dark but not heavy exploration of a woman dealing with grief. Kristen Stewart is excellent as the personal shopper for a prominent woman, her days spent visiting high end boutiques to pick up clothes and jewelry that her boss needs to wear to functions. She is living in Paris and won’t leave because she is waiting for a sign from her deceased twin brother, who died unexpectedly and she believes is still haunting the house he lived in. By night she sits in dark, empty rooms and waits for noises or flashes of light, then sees things spin out of control when she begins receiving text messages from a mysterious stranger that she believes might be connected to her search. The points at which Assayas tips the story in favour of its ghostly elements might be a lot to swallow for some, the film demands a great deal of willingness on the part of the audience to accept his whimsy, but it’s a beautifully wrought tale of sorrow and crime that benefits greatly from how solid and real Stewart’s performance is in the lead.