PERSONAL SHOPPER — THE CRITERION COLLECTION
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Cannes, France —Olivier Assayas’s Personal Shopper drew boos from French locals at Cannes who didn’t appreciate the weakly constructed psychological thriller.
Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, an American in Paris who buys expensive clothing and jewelry for a soulless model-celebrity when she isn’t attempting to connect with the ghost of her recently deceased twin brother.
A bloody murder briefly ramps up the action, but this stylized thriller relies too much on cell-phone texting as source of mystery to feel as dangerous as the film imagines.
It's obvious that Assayas has a fetishistic appreciation for Kristen Stewart's lithe figure, which is not that far removed from his own skinny build. Stewart fits neatly into the fashion industry mold of an impossibly thin, if boyish, size that the majority of audiences would view as unhealthy
To this end, Assayas features a nude clothes-fitting sequence that fulfills any lingering curiosity about what the actress looks in a BDSM corset that is nothing more than straps sewn together. Stewart's modest breasts protrude beautifully, but the sequence is purely gratuitous.
Whatever range Kristen Stewart seemed to be developing with indie films, like Mary Stuart Masterson's "The Cake Eaters, has been replaced with a bag of acting crutches that pass for character traits. The techniques are especially apparent in a minimalist film such "Personal Shopper."
Stewart has become an acting technician who doesn't concern herself with the creating characters (see Stanislavsky) anymore because she doesn't need to. The Cannes audiences who booed at screenings here might have thought they were showing disapproval of Olivier Assayas, but they were also (however subconsciously) giving a thumbs-down to Kristen Stewart.
Not Rated. 110 mins.