starring Kristen Stewart, Lars Eisinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Anders Danielsen Lie
written and directed by Olivier Assayas
by Walter Chaw There's a brilliant song by Patty Griffin called "Every Little Bit" that, among other piquant turns of phrase, includes the lyric "I still don't blame you for leaving, baby, it's called living with ghosts." At around the 30-minute mark of Olivier Assayas's Personal Shopper, our survivor Maureen (Kristen Stewart) tells a confidante she had made a vow with her late twin brother to make contact from beyond the grave should one pre-decease the other. "And then?" he asks. "I guess I'll live my life and let it go." Then a long, gliding shot of Maureen riding her moped through the Parisian nighttime scored to simple, haunted strings that are augmented towards the end of the sequence by percussion, which reveals itself to be a pencil against parchment. Maureen works as a personal shopper for a German fashionista who never seems to be home. In her off moments, she helps her brother's "widowed" girlfriend Lara (Sigrid Bouaziz) try to suss out if his ghost is unquiet and lurking in the house they shared. Maureen's a medium, you see, or at least she and her brother played at being mediums--a morbid pastime informed by a heart ailment, unpredictably mortal, shared by the siblings. A doctor warns her against any strenuous activities or emotions. She'll suffer both before the end.