Personal Shopper

Front Row at the Movies by Shirrel Rhoades

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Despite what the title might suggest, “Personal Shopper” is not some lighthearted rom-com. In fact, it’s a dreary ghost story.

Here, we find Maureen (Kristen Stewart of “Twilight” fame) working as a personal shopper for a celebrity in Paris. It’s a glam existence on the surface, with Maureen bustling about the City of Lights on her scooter, selecting Chanel haute couture for her gnarly society client.

But early on we learn that Maureen had a twin brother who died at 27, leaving her alone in a meaningless world. She’s morose over this abandonment, and spends nights in a lonely house outside the city where he used to live, trying to contact his departed spirit.

In her grief, Maureen is almost like a ghost herself, a sad döppleganger of the brother who left her behind. In her role as a personal shopper, she’s all but invisible to her client, delivering things, then disappearing as if she were never there.

However, don’t be lulled into too much contemplation. This is at heart a horror film, and a terrifying one at that.

“Personal Shopper” is currently haunting audiences at Tropic Cinema.

I’ve always maintained that movies are a mirror of society. And so I have to ask why so many films of late deal with grief. “Manchester by the Sea” being a prime example. “Moonlight” has its heartbreaking moments. “The Shack” deals with the grief of death. Even bouncy “La La Land” has a bittersweet ending.

Such films raise the question: Do we as a society need a good cry?

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