Kristen Stewart, “personal shopper” for Olivier Assayas

Film still of Personal Shopper © RR

French director Olivier Assayas, previously at Cannes with Irma Vep (1996), Clean (2004) and Carlos (2010), is back In Competition with Personal Shopper, a supernatural thriller starring his new muse, Kristen Stewart, just two years after Clouds of Sils Maria, selected to compete at Cannes in 2014.

In Personal Shopper, Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, a young American in Paris in charge of a famous celebrity’s wardrobe. She despises her job, but it allows her to pay for her stay, until the ghost of Lewis – her twin brother who recently died – manifests itself. She begins to receive strange, anonymous messages on her mobile phone…

This 69th film festival opened its doors under the charm of her performance in Woody Allen’s Café Society. But in the part written for her by Olivier Assayas, Kristen Stewart embodies a much darker, more mysterious and meditative character, struggling between the grip of grief and the quest for emancipation. The story, which may initially resemble that of Sils Maria, which sees her assisting a famous actress (Juliette Binoche) and for which she became the first American to win the César award for Best Actress, is "more ambiguous and poetic" in the words of the actress. For Olivier Assayas, with whom she confesses to share a real complicity for the art: "She has an instinctive understanding of cinema and an extraordinary precision in her knowledge of the frame. She is never boring – she knows how to make any shot riveting".

With this new work, the actress continues to affirm her talent and her ability to play a variety of roles. Having risen to fame in the Twilight Saga, Kristen Stewart is now one of the most prominent actresses of her generation.