Personal Shopper

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Personal Shopper
Personal Shopper poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOlivier Assayas
Written byOlivier Assayas
Produced byCharles Gillibert
CinematographyYorick Le Saux
Edited byMarion Monnier
Distributed by
  • The Searchers (Belgium)
  • Artcam Films (Czech Republic)
  • Les Films du Losange (France)
  • Weltkino Filmverleih (Germany)
Release date
  • 17 May 2016 (2016-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 14 December 2016 (2016-12-14) (Belgium and France)
  • 19 January 2017 (2017-01-19) (Germany)
  • 27 April 2017 (2017-04-27) (Czech Republic)
Running time
106 minutes
  • France
  • Germany
  • Czech Republic
  • Belgium
  • English
  • French
  • Swedish
Box office$2.7 million[1]

Personal Shopper is a 2016 supernatural psychological thriller film written and directed by Olivier Assayas.[2] The film stars Kristen Stewart as a young American woman in Paris who works as a personal shopper for a celebrity and tries to communicate with her deceased twin brother.

An international co-production between Belgium, Czech Republic, France and Germany,[3] the film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.[4][5] At Cannes, Assayas shared the Best Director Award with Cristian Mungiu, who directed Graduation.[6] The film was released on 14 December 2016 in France and 10 March 2017 in the United States. The film received positive reviews from critics, with particular praise for Stewart's performance.


Maureen is a personal shopper in Paris for Kyra, a demanding supermodel and not ideal boss. Her twin brother Lewis recently died from a heart condition, a condition shared by Maureen. They were both interested in spiritualism and felt they were mediums.

Maureen stays overnight at her late brother's home, hoping for a sign from him, and has a brief encounter with a spiritual presence. His girlfriend Lara wants to sell the mansion to a couple who knew and loved her brother, but they want Maureen to find out if the mansion has spirits, benevolent or malevolent. Maureen and her brother had promised each other that who ever died first would give the other a sign after death. During her discussion with the potential buyers, Maureen discovers the artist Hilma af Klint, whose paintings were inspired by messages from the spirit world. Maureen video chats with her boyfriend Gary, who is on a contract job in Oman and encourages her to get away from Paris and Kyra and to come visit. She says she can't yet.

At Kyra's apartment, Maureen meets and talks with Kyra's lover Ingo, who tells her Kyra is planning to break up with him because she is afraid her husband will discover their relationship. Maureen spends another night at Lewis' home and the faucets turn on. She asks Lewis to talk with her, and discovers that her artwork has been scratched out. She is then terrified by an aggressive, angry specter of a woman. Maureen flees the house.

On her way to London to pick up clothing for Kyra, Maureen receives a series of text messages from an unknown number, which she initially suspects may be her late brother Lewis. But the sender toys with Maureen and eventually encourages her to try on Kyra's clothes, which she has been forbidden to do. She goes back to Kyra's place and finally decides to do just that, trying on Kyra's clothes and becoming aroused by it. She spends the night in Kyra's bed in a dress collected from London. The female spectre then appears in the bedroom, causing Maureen to wake up suddenly. The next morning, Maureen visits Lara to tell her that there is no longer a supernatural presence in the mansion.

The text sender continues, and suggests a meeting, leaving her a room key for a hotel. When she visits the room in one of Kyra's dresses, no one is there, but when she checks at the front desk, she discovers the room is booked in her name and has been pre-paid in cash.

After picking up expensive jewelry for Kyra, Maureen returns to Kyra's apartment, where she discovers Kyra's bloody corpse, and sees fleeting images. She goes to and is questioned by the police, who ask about the location of the jewelry, among other things, which Maureen says she left at Kyra's. The texter demands to know if she mentioned their conversations to the police. She talks to her boyfriend and tells him what happened and that she is coming to see him. He tells her there is nothing after death.

Later, Maureen discovers the jewelry is in her apartment and the texter demands she return to the hotel room, which she does, with the jewelry. She hears a noise and looks up, apparently recognizing the unseen person.

Elevators and doors in the hotel are then shown opening and closing, although no one is seen going through them. Immediately after that, Ingo is shown leaving the hotel, and is apprehended by two policeman. He fights and shoots one and flees, but he is eventually caught, arrested and confesses to murdering Kyra.

Maureen meets Lara at a restaurant, explains the most recent events and that she is leaving to be with her boyfriend. First she goes to see Lara's new boyfriend Erwin, who was friends with Lewis before his death. They speak about the possibility that Lewis' soul is still present, which he believes but Maureen questions. He leaves, and as Maureen sits in the garden alone, a wind stirs and a figure is seen behind her in the kitchen, holding a glass. The figure disappears and the glass levitates briefly before dropping and shattering on the floor.

Maureen flies to Oman to visit Gary in the mountains. Arriving at his room, she hears a noise in the next room and finds a glass floating in the air; it falls and shatters. She suspects Lewis' presence and asks him questions, accepting single thumps as yes, two for no. When she eventually asks her twice-repeated question, "Lewis, is it you," there is silence. She then asks, "Or is it just me?" There is a single thump for yes.



In May 2015, it was announced that Olivier Assayas would be directing the film, from a screenplay he wrote, with Kristen Stewart starring. He wrote it for Stewart as the star, as he had worked with her in Clouds of Sils Maria. Charles Gillibert produced the film under his CG Cinema banner.[7] In October 2015, Sigrid Bouaziz, Lars Eidinger, Anders Danielsen Lie, and Nora von Waldstätten also had been cast in the film.[8] In November 2015, Ty Olwin joined the cast, taking the role of Gary, Maureen's boyfriend.[9]

Principal photography began on 27 October 2015 in Paris, France for two weeks and then moved to Prague, London, and Oman.[8]


The film had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on 17 May 2016, where it competed for the Palme d'Or.[4][5] The film was distributed by Les Films du Losange in France, and IFC Films in North America.[10] Universal Pictures distributed the film internationally.[11] The film was screened at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival[12] and the New York Film Festival.[13]

It was released in France on 14 December 2016.[14] The film was released in the United States on 10 March 2017.[15]

In the United States, the movie grossed $79,175 in 4 theaters for an average of $19,794, the highest of the weekend, after adding 31 theaters the next weekend it saw a 92.6% increase to gross $152,478. The movie's final US domestic total was $1,305,195 with a worldwide gross of $2.2 million against a $1 million budget, making it a box office success.

Critical reception[edit]

Personal Shopper received generally positive reviews from film critics. The Guardian awarded the film five stars, calling it "uncategorisable yet undeniably terrifying".[16] Stephanie Zacharek of Time gave a positive review, writing that "Personal Shopper is a strange and beautifully made film, and both star and director are clearly energized by their dual mission." She also listed it as one of Time's top ten films of 2017.[17] A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote the film is "sleek and spooky, seductive and suspenseful. It flirts with silliness, as ghost stories do. And also with heartbreak."[2]

Rotten Tomatoes reports a "Certified Fresh" score of 80% based on 266 reviews with an average rating of 7.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Personal Shopper attempts a tricky series of potentially jarring tonal shifts with varying results, bolstered by a performance from Kristen Stewart that's impossible to ignore."[18] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 77 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[19] The film was booed at its initial screening at the Cannes Film Festival, about which director Assayas said, "It happens every once and a while [sic] where people just don't get the ending."[20][21] At its official premiere at Cannes, the film received a 4+12-minute standing ovation.[22][23]


Year Organization Category Recipient(s) and Nominee(s) Outcome
2016 Cannes Film Festival Best Director Olivier Assayas Won
Oaxaca FilmFest[24] Best Actress Kristen Stewart Won
Online Film Critics Society Best Non-U.S. Release Personal Shopper Won
2017 Austin Film Critics Association[25] Best Actress Kristen Stewart Nominated
Dublin Film Critics' Circle[26] Best Actress Kristen Stewart Nominated
Florida Film Critics Circle Best Cinematography Yorick Le Saux Nominated
Indiana Film Journalists Association[27] Best Actress Kristen Stewart Nominated
Indiewire Annual Critics Poll[28] Best Film Personal Shopper Nominated
Best Actress Kristen Stewart 5th place
International Cinephile Society Best Picture Not Released in 2016 Personal Shopper Nominated
International Film Festival Rotterdam Best Director Olivier Assayas Nominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society[29] Best Actress Kristen Stewart Nominated
St. Louis Film Critics Association Best Actress Kristen Stewart Nominated
2018 International Cinephile Society Best Picture Personal Shopper 3rd place
Best Actress Kristen Stewart Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Olivier Assayas Nominated
Best Film Editing Marion Monnier Nominated
Talk Film Society Best Actress Kristen Stewart Nominated
Village Voice Annual Film Poll Best Film Personal Shopper 7th place
Best Actress Kristen Stewart 5th place
Fright Meter Awards Best Actress Kristen Stewart Nominated
Best Costume Design Jürgen Doering Nominated
Best Screenplay Olivier Assayas Nominated
Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Film Personal Shopper Nominated
Best Actress in a Foreign Film Kristen Stewart Nominated


  1. ^ "Personal Shopper". The Numbers. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b Scott, A. O. (9 March 2017). "Review: Kristen Stewart Is Entrancing as a Haunted 'Personal Shopper'". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Personal Shopper. 2016. Directed by Olivier Assayas". Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 29 December 2017.
  4. ^ a b "2016 Cannes Film Festival Announces Lineup". IndieWire. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Cannes 2016: Film Festival Unveils Official Selection Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Cannes Film Festival Winners: Palme d'Or to Ken Loach's 'I, Daniel Blake'". Deadline. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  7. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (15 May 2015). "Cannes: Kristen Stewart to Star in Ghost Story 'Personal Shopper' for Olivier Assayas (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  8. ^ a b Goodfellow, Melanie (14 October 2015). "Olivier Assayas, Kristen Stewart reunite on set of 'Personal Shopper'". Screen Daily. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  9. ^ Ratney, Ruth L (23 November 2015). "Olwin lands first film role in an international feature". Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  10. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (13 February 2016). "Berlin: Kristen Stewart's 'Shopper' Tops MK2 Sales Deals". Variety. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  11. ^ Barraclough, Leo (6 June 2016). "Universal Picks Up Kristen Stewart's 'Personal Shopper' in Multiple Territories". Variety. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Personal Shopper". Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  13. ^ "Personal Shopper - NYFF54". Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  14. ^ "Personal Shopper". Les Films du Losange. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
  15. ^ Busis, Hillary (29 September 2016). "Kristen Stewart Just Can't Give Up the Ghost in Personal Shopper". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  16. ^ "Personal Shopper review: Kristen Stewart's psychic spooker is a must-have". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  17. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (7 December 2017). "The Top 10 Movies of 2017". Time. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  18. ^ "Personal Shopper (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Personal Shopper". Metacritic. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  20. ^ Variety Staff (16 May 2016). "Kristen Stewart's 'Personal Shopper' Booed at Cannes Premiere". Variety. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  21. ^ Alexander, Bryan (17 May 2016). "Why was Kristen Stewart's 'Personal Shopper' booed at Cannes?". USA Today. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  22. ^ Calvario, Liz (18 May 2016). "Kristen Stewart's 'Personal Shopper' Receives Standing Ovation At Cannes Premiere After Getting Booed". Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  23. ^ Gardner, Chris (17 May 2016). "Cannes: Kristen Stewart's 'Personal Shopper' Receives 4-Minute-Plus Standing Ovation". Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  24. ^ "Personal Shopper: Prix de la meilleure actrice à l'Oaxaca Film Festival". 16 October 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  25. ^ "Austin Film Critics on Twitter".
  26. ^ "Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards for 2017 announced". Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  27. ^ "Indiana Film Journalists Association". Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  28. ^ Kohn, Eric (19 December 2017). "2017 Critics Poll: The Best Films and Performances According to Over 200 Critics". Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  29. ^ Biggs, Colin. "Alright, ballot is due for the .@LVFilmCritics. Find out what wins at the #LVFCSAwards on Dec. 18th!". Retrieved 21 December 2017.

External links[edit]