Personal Shopper

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Personal Shopper
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOlivier Assayas
Written byOlivier Assayas
Produced byCharles Gillibert
CinematographyYorick Le Saux
Edited byMarion Monnier
Music bySebastien Pan
Distributed by
  • The Searchers (Belgium)
  • Artcam Films (Czech Republic)
  • Les Films du Losange (France)
  • Weltkino Filmverleih (Germany)
Release dates
  • 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. It received positive reviews from critics, with particular praise for Stewart's performance.


Maureen Cartwright is a personal shopper in Paris for Kyra Gellman, a supermodel. Maureen is waiting for her twin brother, Lewis, who recently died of a genetic heart condition, to fulfill their pact to send a signal from the afterlife. She stays overnight at Lewis's house in hopes of receiving a sign and briefly encounters a spiritual presence. Lewis's girlfriend, Lara, goes with Maureen to meet a couple acquainted with Lewis who are interested in buying the house. The wife mentions the artist Hilma af Klint, whose paintings were inspired by messages from the spirit world. Later, Maureen video chats with her boyfriend, Gary, a contractor in Muscat, Oman, who encourages her to visit him, which she turns down.

The next day, at Kyra's apartment, Maureen meets Ingo, a magazine editor and Kyra's lover. He tells Maureen that Kyra is planning to break up with him out of fear her husband will discover their relationship. Maureen returns to Lewis's house and is disturbed by the bathroom's faucets turning on. After inspecting the house, she finds her drawings have been violently scratched out, and is terrorized by a malefic female specter.

Maureen begins receiving text messages from an unknown sender she initially suspects is Lewis. The messenger encourages her to indulge in forbidden desires, such as wearing Kyra's clothes. Maureen goes to Kyra's place to wear her clothes and masturbates in Kyra's bed. She falls asleep, is awoken by the same female specter, and tells Lara the next morning that there is no longer a supernatural presence in the house.

The enigmatic messenger leaves Maureen a room key for a hotel. Donning one of Kyra's newest dresses, Maureen goes to the room to find it empty. She attempts to investigate the texter's identity by inquiring at the front desk, but the room was paid for in cash and reserved under her name.

Maureen drops off Kyra's jewelry at the apartment, cautiously opens Kyra's bedroom door, and finds Kyra's naked corpse on the bathroom floor. She flees on her motorcycle to the police station, where she is interrogated about her relationship with Kyra but released. She ignores the texter, who demands to know whether Maureen revealed their conversations to the police. Returning to her apartment, Maureen phones Gary to accept his offer to visit Muscat. She discovers Kyra's jewelry in her apartment, despite telling the police she left it at Kyra's place. The texter demands that Maureen return to the hotel room. She does, bringing the jewelry. At the hotel, Maureen seemingly recognizes a clandestine person entering the room. Elevators and doors in the hotel are then shown opening and closing for an invisible entity. Afterward, Ingo is shown leaving the hotel and being apprehended by two policemen. He confesses to Kyra's murder.

Meeting Lara at a café, Maureen asks to stay with her before joining Gary in Oman. The next morning, Maureen meets Erwin, Lara's new boyfriend, who knew Lewis. He leaves for work, and as Maureen sits in the garden alone, a ghostly figure appears in the kitchen holding a glass. The figure disappears and the glass levitates briefly before shattering on the floor.

Maureen flies to Oman to stay with Gary in the mountains. At his retreat, she hears a noise and finds a glass floating in the air; it falls and shatters. She asks yes/no questions aloud, which are answered with one thump for "yes" and two for "no". Getting no response to "Lewis, is it you?", she asks, "Is it just me?", and hears a single thump.



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 after working 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 were cast in the film.[8] In November 2015, Ty Olwin was cast.[9]

Principal photography began on 27 October 2015 in Paris 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] and in the United States on 10 March 2017.[15]

In the United States, the movie grossed $79,175 in four theaters for an average of $19,794, the highest of the weekend. After adding 31 theaters the next weekend, it grossed $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. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports a "Certified Fresh" score of 81% based on 274 reviews with an average rating of 7.2/10. 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."[16] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 77 out of 100, based on 38 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[17] The film was booed at its initial screening at the Cannes Film Festival, about which Assayas said, "It happens every once and a while [sic] where people just don't get the ending."[18][19] At its official premiere at Cannes, the film received a 4+12-minute standing ovation.[20][21]

The Guardian awarded the film five stars, calling it "uncategorisable yet undeniably terrifying".[22] Stephanie Zacharek of Time gave a positive review, writing, "Personal Shopper is a strange and beautifully made film, and both star and director are clearly energized by their dual mission." She listed it as one of Time's top ten films of 2017.[23] A. O. Scott of The New York Times called the film "sleek and spooky, seductive and suspenseful. It flirts with silliness, as ghost stories do. And also with heartbreak."[2]


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 8th place
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. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Cannes 2016: Film Festival Unveils Official Selection Lineup". Variety. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Cannes Film Festival Winners: Palme d'Or to Ken Loach's 'I, Daniel Blake'". Deadline. 22 May 2016. 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 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. 10 March 2017. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  17. ^ "Personal Shopper". Metacritic. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  18. ^ Variety Staff (16 May 2016). "Kristen Stewart's 'Personal Shopper' Booed at Cannes Premiere". Variety. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  19. ^ Alexander, Bryan (17 May 2016). "Why was Kristen Stewart's 'Personal Shopper' booed at Cannes?". USA Today. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  20. ^ Calvario, Liz (18 May 2016). "Kristen Stewart's 'Personal Shopper' Receives Standing Ovation At Cannes Premiere After Getting Booed". Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  21. ^ Gardner, Chris (17 May 2016). "Cannes: Kristen Stewart's 'Personal Shopper' Receives 4-Minute-Plus Standing Ovation". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 May 2016.
  22. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (16 May 2016). "Personal Shopper review: Kristen Stewart's psychic spooker is a must-have". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  23. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (7 December 2017). "The Top 10 Movies of 2017". Time. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  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. ^ (13 December 2017). "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]