She vomited this ectoplasm… and left. And the ectoplasm lingered for a minute, or less, and then also just disappeared.
— Kristen Stewart in Personal Shopper
Not since Mistress America has a film subscribed to as many of my cinematic sensibilities as Personal Shopper.
I’m at the point where Kristen Stewart can do no wrong as an actress for me. There really is no other actress working today that is able to bring the uber-specific subtleties to every single one of their performances in the way that Stewart does, especially so in her work with Olivier Assayas. There is something so jarringly fascinating about every single one of her interactions in the film. Even in most brief of moments, like when Stewart’s Maureen is just browsing through dresses and finally stumbles across what she has been looking for, Stewart’s remarkably emotive expressions shine with the sense of realization that so few actresses manage to exemplify to as great an of an extent as Stewart.
Focusing in on Personal Shopper, the film’s soundscape sounds like something straight out of what you’d an imagine an ASMR sampling board to reflect. Repetitive ambient noises echo all throughout the house as Maureen, a medium, tries to seek out a sign from the dead. Assayas utilizes this tingling sensation to help elevate the mood all throughout the house, as even the slightest crackling noise raises the tension up a notch. There’s this general feeling within this enclosed chamber that something else lurks behind Stewart’s tiptoeing force — something that’s so desperately holding her back from moving on with here life. There’s never a clear answer provided, which is a vital part of what makes Personal Shopper one of the most compelling works of art to ever grace the screen.