With ‘Personal Shopper,’ Kristen Stewart leaves ‘Twilight’ in the rearview mirror

09.30.16 1 year ago

Kristen Stewart's new movie Personal Shopper — a “psychological thriller” directed by Oliver Assayas — was booed following its premiere screening at Cannes but has also garnered its fair share of decent-to-great reviews, with many critics singling out Stewart's performance for praise. So if you didn't take the Twilight star seriously before, maybe now's the time?

“I really, specifically, love acting, and I think it”s a really cool thing to be really indulgent and follow that,” Stewart told Collider back in 2010. “I have a lot of ambitions in life, but for the next few years, I just want to be an actor. That”s a lucky opportunity, and that drives me to want to be good at that.”

I have to be honest: I was not a fan of Stewart's acting early in her career (I recognize that this is not an outside-the-box opinion). Her myriad physical tics (lip-biting, hair-caressing, head-vibrating et al.) were things I found distracting, and judging from the number of “Kristen Stewart is a bad actress” compilations on YouTube there are thousands if not millions more like me.

But as I wrote previously, Stewart has been garnering more praise from the critical community for her performances in films like Still Alice, Camp X-Ray and Clouds of Sils Maria, and Personal Shopper appears to be the latest in a string of acclaimed turns for the actress, whose first burst of stardom was so intense that she became understandably wary of a vulturous press that likes to pick celebrity bones clean — especially young celebrity bones.

Heckling at Cannes or no (the crowd there has booed good movies before), Personal Shopper — about a young, yes, personal shopper for a celebrity who begins communicating with spirits, possibly including her dead twin brother — looks like an interesting film based on this first trailer, and I appreciate that Stewart has dedicated herself post-Twilight to starring in movies that are off the beaten path. As a genre fan, I'm also curious how well the traditional “horror” label will apply here, though I suspect it's a much more subtle affair than your average “things-go-bump-in-the-night” flick.

At the end of the day, I want to like Kristen Stewart as an actress — truly. Maybe this is the film where I'll finally be able to separate her from the fidgety teen in Twilight.

Personal Shopper is slated for release on March 10, 2017. You can watch the trailer below.

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