Personal Shopper Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

Check out Lee Weber’s review of the Criterion Collection release of Personal Shopper, a thriller about a young medium in Paris who starts receiving messages from an unknown source.

The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

89

Details:

Studio and Year: Criterion – 2017
MPAA Rating: R
Feature Running Time: 105 minutes
Genre: Drama, Mystery, thriller

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz
Directed by: Olivier Assayas
Written by: Olivier Assayas
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 24th, 2017

“We made this oath… Whoever died first would send the other a sign.”



From Criterion:
“With this intimate supernatural drama, the celebrated French filmmaker Olivier Assayas conjures a melancholy ghost story set in the world of celebrity and haute couture. Starring Kristen Stewart, whose performance in Assayas’s Clouds of Sils Maria made her the first American actress to win a César Award, this evocative character study tells the story of a young fashion assistant and spiritual medium who is living in Paris and searching for signs of an afterlife following the sudden death of her twin brother. A stirring depiction of grief in the form of a psychological thriller, Personal Shopper—which won Assayas the best director award at Cannes—is a chilling meditation on modern modes of communication and the way we mourn those we love.”

Personal Shopper sure is a tough film to pin down. Well crafted by Writer/Director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria), from a screenplay he wrote for Kristen Stewart, the film succeeds as much as it fails–but not for a lack of trying to make it a completely unique experience. Part ghost story, part thriller and mostly a drama, Personal Shopper lulls the viewer into its world –and it was an easy journey to take. Some of the films pay-offs are not as big or meaningful as needed to to make the film as effective as it could have been, but as a work of art it is commendable and a worth-while experience. Kristen Stewart is a double edge sword as I hate to admit she pulled off this leading role quite well. However, she plays it safe with her usual lack of emotion that seems to be her style. The few moments she smiled were stand out, but just for the fact she emoted. I recommend giving this a shot but be warned it is certain to be a divisive film.

Parental Guide: Rated R for some language, sexuality, nudity and a bloody violent image 

AUDIO/VIDEO – By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**

Audio: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics: 
  • Low frequency effects: 
  • Surround Sound presentation: 
  • Clarity/Detail: 
  • Dialogue Reproduction: 
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA

Video: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity: 
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail: 
  • Color Reproduction: 
  • Fleshtones: 
  • Compression: 

Personal Shopper comes to Blu-ray Disc from Criterion featuring 2.40:1 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22.2 Mbps and a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack that has an average bitrate of 3.8.

From Criterions Booklet:
“Supervised by director of photography Yorick Le Saux and approved by director Olivier Assayas, this digital master was created in 2L resolution on a Northlight film scanner from the 35mm original camera negative. The film features a fully digital soundtrack. The 5.1 surround audio for this release was mastered from the original digital audio files using Pro Tools HD.
Color supervisor: Yorick Le Saux. Colorist: Lionel Kopp/Film Factory, Paris.”

Criterion’s transfer that was approved by Writer/Director Assayas looks lifelike and vivid, yet dreamy. It is very detailed with a strong handle on low light scenes, showing great shadow details. Strong colors and natural flesh-tones combined with the 35mm film grain made this a visually rewarding watch. The audio track was full of atmosphere as well as slightly aggressive– It was a fun combination. Well mixed, I never noticed any issues with its balance and felt an extra level of care was put in to make this track.

*Note – Our Audio/Video score takes some factors into consideration (like LFE and Surround Effects) that deter the overall number a film this will garner. In the world of older film and Criterion releases, I would consider this as close to perfect as this source will allow.

Bonus Features:

  • (HD) New interview with Assayas
  • (HD) 2016 Cannes Film Festival press conference featuring actor Kristen Stewart and other members of the film’s cast and crew
  • (HD) Theatrical trailer
  • An essay by critic Glenn Kenny

Final Thoughts:

Criterion’s Blu-ray release of Personal Shopper was a unique film that doesn’t need to cliff notes its narrative, treating the viewer with respect. This doesn’t necessarily translate into the perfect structure but worked well in this instance. Kristen Stewart seems to be Olivier Assayas muse, and it is interesting to see her career trajectory from the Twilight Films to now. Considering its outstanding AV I think this worth a viewing.

Lee Weber
online-shashki Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

Sony VPL-VW385 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
Falcon Screens Horizon 138″ 2.35:1 Acoustically Transparent Screen
Da-Lite Pro Imager Projector Screen Masking System
Yamaha CX-A5100 AV Processor – Calibrated by Jeff Meier @ Accucal
ATI AT4000 Signature Series Amplifiers 11×200 Watts
Sony UBP-X1000ES 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IWHD Monitors x3 (LCR)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IW55 x4 (Surrounds)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IC44A x4 (Atmos)
Next Level Acoustics- CI-HV15 Sub
AudioQuest Wires

Sony 75XBR940E 75″ 4K Ultra High Definition HDR LED
Anthem MRX-520-AV Receiver
Sony UBP-X1000ES 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Next Level Acoustics- Fusion Cinema Trio
Next Level Acoustics- CI-IWSUR6.1
Next Level Acoustics- CI-HV10 Sub