Amid all the shifting mirrored surfaces and hazy ambiguities of Olivier Assayas’ bewitching, brazenly unconventional ghost story, this much can be said with certainty: Kristen Stewart has become one incredible actress.
The former Twilight star’s performance here is a galvanising human influence, even as her character, introverted American-in-Paris Maureen, seems forever on the verge of voluntary evaporation. An haute couture clothes buyer and general dogsbody to an insufferable A-list celebrity, practising medium Maureen is haunted, in all senses, by the recent death of her twin brother. Seeking a final communication, she encounters a spirit or two – but whose? And are they following her, or are the insidiously instructive, anonymous texts that start invading her phone from another amorphous entity?
Among the things that are on Assayas’ mind is the disembodied – and disembodying – nature of modern-day communication and social media, which makes ghosts of us all to those to whom we text far more than we talk. To preserve enjoyment, no more should be revealed about Assayas’ film’s sashay through multiple genres – except to say he’s in pure control.
The bottom line Astonishing. A chilling modern ghost story.