Oscar nominations voting is scheduled to begin on January 5, and there’s a good chance academy members will check off an unconventional, critically acclaimed genre movie from the spring, “Get Out.” I hope that doesn’t mean it’s too much to ask for them to consider a second unconventional, critically acclaimed genre movie from the spring, “Personal Shopper.” As yet it hasn’t made a big impact in the 2017 fall awards season, but I hope there’s still room for voters to consider the lead performance by Kristen Stewart.
“Personal Shopper” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival back in May 2016, where it won Best Director for Olivier Assayas. But it didn’t get a theatrical release in the US until March 10, 2017. It was acclaimed by critics, resulting in a MetaCritic score of 77 and 80% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes, but it hasn’t gotten the same year-end revival of attention that “Get Out” has (deservedly) received. However, it feels like Stewart has been on the cusp of an Oscar nomination ever since she finished her stint in the “Twilight” films. Following that series of supernatural blockbusters she has appeared in a number of films that might have gotten her close to the academy’s radar, including “Still Alice” (2014) which won Best Actress for her on-screen mother Julianne Moore, Woody Allen‘s “Cafe Society” (2015), Ang Lee‘s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” (2016), and Kelly Reichardt‘s “Certain Women” (2016).
Stewart also teamed up with “Personal Shopper” director Assayas once before, in “Clouds of Sils Maria” (2014), which won her Best Supporting Actress honors from the Cesar Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle, and the National Society of Film Critics. But that film never got traction during the Oscar season. Can “Personal Shopper” improve her fortunes?
She stars as the title character, Maureen, who works for a celebrity (Nora von Waldstätten) but moonlights as a supernatural medium. She lives in Paris and is hoping to make contact with the spirit of her twin brother, who recently died there. It’s a typically understated performance by Stewart but with an additional haunted fragility. Peter Bradshaw (The Guardian) called this her “best performance to date.” A.O. Scott (New York Times) described her as “entrancing.” And Stephanie Zacharek (Time) said she sets the film “ablaze.” Though critics never took the “Twilight” franchise seriously Stewart ranked fifth in the IndieWire critics’ poll for Best Actress for “Personal Shopper,” and the film ranked eighth for Best Film.
If not this for this film, Stewart has quickly been putting together the resume of a future Oscar winner. Having proven her star power in the “Twilight” franchise she has subsequently strengthened her artistic cred with a string of acclaimed and/or auteur-driven projects. A movie star with indie-cool factor is typically an ideal mix for the academy. And Stewart in “Personal Shopper” would be a good choice this year, so they should watch it before January 5.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives and top name stars can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.