October 1, 2016
'Personal Shopper' Star Kristen Stewart Lives A Haunted Life

Kristen Stewart is returning to the world of the supernatural with Personal Shopper, but, unlike the Twilight series, Stewart's latest offering falls more under the horror genre than the world of fantasy.

Personal Shopper is a dramatic thriller from director Olivier Assayas, who Kristen previously worked with on 2014's Clouds of Sils Maria. While the movie wasn't an overriding success at its Cannes Film Festival premiere, it did make a positive impact with judges, netting Assayas the Best Director award.

Personal Shopper Trailer Sets The Stage For A Haunting Tale

Esquire reveals that early news from Cannes Film Festival doesn't bode well for Kristen Stewart in her new Personal Shopper role. Audiences booed the film, and knowing little else, that might indicate a poor box office return for the film, but better informed audiences may still want to give Kristen's latest thriller a chance. After all, Personal Shopper wasn't the first film to have been booed at Cannes.

Among previous films to have received a negative audience reaction at the famous film festival are some projects which have gone on to achieve commercial success. Pulp Fiction, Taxi Driver, and Inglourious Basterds have all been booed at Cannes.

It remains to be seen how a wider base of moviegoers will judge Personal Shopper, particularly when it seems the film is driven by Kristen Stewart's performances and may, therefore, rely heavily on the Twilight star's fanbase.

Personal Shopper opens with Stewart playing Maureen, the aforementioned personal shopper to celebrities, but, as the film progresses, things take a dark turn with the death of Maureen's twin brother. Stewart plays a mournful sister, who, over time, comes to believe her deceased brother is speaking to her. It's unclear from the trailer exactly what the brother might be trying to tell Kristen's character, but Maureen is obviously unsettled by the communication, as anyone would be.

Personal Shopper Was The Hardest Film In Kristen Stewart's Career

Personal Shopper didn't bomb with everyone. In addition to scoring that Best Director award for Olivier Assayas, Vanity Fair gave the Kristen Stewart thriller a very favorable review. The critic raved that the movie was unnerving to the point that even senses dulled by champagne couldn't fall under its haunting and eerie spell. The review, written by Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson, also calls attention to the emotionally wrenching performance of Stewart as the grieving sister, suggesting that the somber ambiance sets the audience up for the frights yet to come.

Kristen, still known more widely for her portrayal as a young high school girl in Twilight, proves she's all grown up and ready to tackle the darker side of growing up. She's handled such drama before, such as in 2014's Still Alice, but Personal Shopper brings Kristen closer to the inevitable end than ever before.

"I genuinely felt closer to death on a movie than I've ever felt," Stewart previously said of her Personal Shopper role. "[Assayas] sort of gave me this opportunity for a short period of time to contemplate infinity in a really disarming and scary way, that's like little questions that you ignore when you lay your head down on your pillow at night. Like, 'I'm alone, who am I?' All those things, they plague her."

Facing death and the limitless infinity beyond may have given Kristen the proper perspective in playing the Personal Shopper lead, but it's her acting talent, honed over many years, that will ultimately tell a believable story. Ms. Stewart, teaming up with Assayas, creates a sometimes somber, oftentimes chilling world in which the dead speak and haunt the living.

Personal Shopper, starring Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, and Sigrid Bouaziz, opens in theaters on March 10, 2017.

[Featured Image by IFC Films]