If you have loved Kristen Stewart in Woody Allen’s “Café society” and in « Sils Maria » by Olivier Assayas (for which she won a Cesar), you will enjoy seeing her almost in every image of the new film « Personal shopper ». The title is totally deceptive and this has nothing to do with a superficial series on television. It is all about ghosts and medium, life after death but also Parisian life. And Kristen, who declared that she would become a French citizen if Trump is elected, is fabulous in it as a lost soul inhabited by characters of her past.
Her twin brother Lewis has just died of a heart attack and Kristen (who shares the same poor heart condition) is at loss. She lives in Paris and dresses a star, Kyra, who never has time for her and whose boyfriend tries to seduce her.
She incarnates fabulously a young twentyish stylist who dresses like a boy and rides a vespa with Cartier and Chanel shopping bags on her shoulder. We discover some of the young trendy « Bataclan generation’s » lifestyle with English being spoken by everyone and young Americans loving the French way of life. Apartments are well designed to immediately show who lives in them and where. It is a true picture of Paris nowadays, with translated Frenchness.
She remains incredibly sexy and charming throughout the film even though she never smiles and seems in permanent angst.
All the other (young) actors are excellent including Anders Danielsen Lie and singer Benjamin Biolay who has a cameo part as Victor Hugo calling the spirits and turning tables and Sigrid Bouaziz, Lewis’s girlfriend, who looks like a young Kate Winslet.
The decors are minutiously done with just enough trendiness and weirdness, the characters are never cliché and there is constant excitement through texting, discovering a murder and much travelling (Eurostar etc…). The end takes place in the sultanate of Oman, in the desert, and perfects the aesthetics of this fascinating film.
I saw it at CNC, the Centre national du cinéma, where Xavier Lardoux, director of films, mentioned that this was Olivier Assayas‘s 17 th film for which he won the Prix de la mise en scène in Cannes last May. With 210 million spectators this year, French cinema has never been more successful. The film will be out on March 10 th in the US.
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