Personal Shopper

The Autumn Tag

It’s time for another autumnal tag! You know I love a tag when I’m trying to post something every day of a month. This is the Autumn Tag and it’s created by Jenniely, do go check their blog out. Now onto the tag!

1. Hot Chocolate – what is your comfort book?
I’m not sure if I have a comfort book anymore as it’s been so long since I’ve read a book multiple times, no matter how much I love a book. Thinking about it, the only book I think that fits this description – even though I’ve only read it the once – is The Martian by Andy Weir. It was such a fun and hopeful story and I adore the film adaptation.

2. Pumpkin Carving – what is your favourite creative outlet?
I don’t think I’m that much of a creative person. Though I guess my blog and writing for JumpCut Online are my creative outlet. I enjoy writing reviews for books and films and just generally being organised and scheduling posts ahead of time.

3. Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad, but you secretly love?
(This one is a bit ambiguous; it can refer to your life or fictional changes in books & movies!)
In terms of books, I sometimes struggle with stories that have multiple point of views or have been from one characters perspective for the majority of it and then suddenly switches to someone else’s, but in the end I do end up liking seeing another side to things more often than not. I think I tend to like multiple POV stories more than most people.

4. Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others tend to judge
Having a weekend doing nothing and staying in your PJs all weekend? I’m sure everyone enjoys lazy weekends now and then, but I still feel a little judged sometimes when I either say before a weekend that I have no plans so I’m really looking forward to the weekend, or if after a weekend people ask what you got up to and then I’m like, “I slept and watched Netflix and/or read books?” Guess this is one I should lean not to get too caught up in what other people think.

5. Bonfire Night – what makes you explode with joy?
Oh boy, after the year that has been 2020, I’d definitely say the answer to that is seeing my friends, especially in real life. I haven’t seen my best friend of ten years since February due to us living in different cities and I cannot wait to see her again. And I think even generally before 2020 I loved seeing my friends as I’m lucky enough to have a lot of different groups of friends who live in different places, so I’m used to not seeing some of them for a while but now it feels extra weird that I can’t see some of them – like it’s almost exactly a year since I’ve seen my work wife!

6. Fright Night – favourite scary book or film
I am a wuss so have read or watched very few scary things. There’s a sequence in Lirael by Garth Nix that I still think is one of the scariest things I’ve ever read. No matter how many times I reread that series, that sequence still freaks me out.

7. Halloween candy – favourite thing to eat
When the nights get darker and longer, I seem to eat a lot more biscuits – especially chocolate chip cookies and chocolate digestives.

8. Scarves – your autumn ‘must have’ accessory
Well it’s obvious but I do love a good scarf. I’m also a big fan of fingerless gloves even though they’re not too practical. Note to self: I need to get new fingerless gloves as I seem to not have a complete pair anymore.

9. Fire – a book or film that burns your soul
A recent read that made me very happy at a deep an emotional level was Spain: The Inside Story of La Roja’s Historic Treble by Graham Hunter. I just loved reliving those six incredible years in Spanish football and learning things I didn’t know about people and matches that I’d watched.

10. Toffee apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside
For book I’m going to say The Passage by Justin Cronin, mainly because I didn’t realise it was a first book in what turned out to be a trilogy when I was reading it, so as I was getting through the story and there were less and less pages for everything to be resolved I was really freaking out!

As for films, I’ll mention Personal Shopper as for some reason I thought it was going to be a full on horror/thriller and while it certainly has those elements it was a much more impactful film than I thought it’d be.

I tag anyone who facies doing this tag!

REVIEW: Personal Shopper (2016)

Maureen (Kristen Stewart), a personal shopper in Paris, refuses to leave the city until she makes contact with her twin brother who died there. Her life becomes more complicated when she starts receiving text messages from an unknown number.

Personal Shopper is one of those films I’d recommend going into knowing as little as possible – and avoiding the trailer at all costs. All I knew about it was “Kristen Stewart played a personal shopper and things aren’t what they seem” and I had no idea the level of unnerving suspense that would be throughout this film.

Maureen, like her twin brother, is a medium and while she doesn’t necessary believe in the afterlife and the souls of the dead, she does believe she can feel presences. What worked really well was how her beliefs aren’t mocked by those around her. Some characters also believe and treat the idea of spirits as perfectly normal, and even those who are a bit dubious don’t laugh in her face or belittle her for trying to get a sign from her brother.

Personal Shopper is all about grief and trying to find connections. Kristen Stewart is fantastic here, playing Maureen’s search for any sort of contact with her brother with desperation, and when she starts receiving text messages that seem to know far too much about her, she’s close to tears but also has a steely determination to see things through. Maureen responds to the texts and things spiral as she tries to figure out what’s happening – could it be her brother on the other end of the phone? Stewart is in every scene of Personal Shopper and is just magnetic to watch, you can’t take your eyes off her as the camera lingers on her as she tries to process things, often while trying to stifle tears.

Personal Shopper is an unsettling blend of drama, horror and thriller. There are so many moments that can be left over to the viewers interpretation, making Personal Shopper an interesting film to discuss with others. There’s an eeriness throughout the film, and a tension that I wasn’t expecting. The sound, and sometimes absence of sound, in Personal Shopper gets under your skin, leaving you on edge and waiting for the other shoe to drop almost constantly.

Personal Shopper really was an unexpected delight. I was captivated by its eeriness and by Stewart’s performance, how she can portray so much with so few words is wonderful. Personal Shopper really is a film that’s open to interpretation, what certain scenes mean, whether there are spirits, and if Maureen does the right thing. It’s an often creepy but always stunning film. 5/5.