The new trailer for Oliver Assayas’ film Personal Shopper sees Kristen Stewart driving, motorcycling and running through French landscapes in pursuit of, or perhaps escaping from, her dead brother. Stewart plays the titular personal shopper, a young woman who earns a living buying clothes for those wealthier and more famous than her. This role is noticeably similar to the personal assistant she played in Assayas’ 2014 film, The Clouds of Sils Maria. From the trailer, Personal Shopper appears to share many qualities with Sils Maria: etherial lighting design, dark undertones and Stewart herself. Like Sils Maria, the film is in English, but dissimilarly, it features mostly French actors, including singer-actor Benjamin Biolay.
The film is already courting controversy, with critics at Cannes giving it a standing ovation stippled with boos. Despite the mixed response, it was nominated for Palme d’Or, and Assayas and Stewart are both already well decorated with French awards, winning best director at Cannes and a supporting actress Cesar, respectively. The film will not be released in the United States until March of 2017, but with an American star and English dialogue, it will likely receive wide release stateside.
As a fan of both horror and classic French films, I’m optimistic about Personal Shopper. I hope it will provide a unique melding of the psychological creepiness of The Shining and the interminable velocity of The 400 Blows.
Does Personal Shopper deserve clapping or booing? Watch the trailer below and make your prediction.