Kristen Stewart’s Experience At Cannes Turned Into A Nightmare After Her Film Was Heavily Booed
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Kristen Stewart’s film, Personal Shopper, received a mixed response at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, with some audience members booing after the screening.
Despite the negative reaction, Personal Shopper was recognized by the festival and was a contender for the Palme d’Or award.
The film ultimately received positive reviews from critics globally, with Kristen Stewart’s performance being praised and the film being described as “impossible to ignore.”
Things took an unexpected turn for Kristen Stewart at the esteemed Cannes Film Festival in 2016, when audience reactions shifted from applause to boos as the credits to her film Personal Shopper rolled.
This stark change in sentiment echoed a historical moment when legendary director Quentin Tarantino faced a similar situation. Despite the audience’s jeers post-screening of Pulp Fiction, the filmmaker remained undeterred, and ultimately, his picture received the highest honor of the festival, the Palme d’Or.
Similarly, Brad Pitt’s The Tree of Life encountered a mixed response from the Cannes attendees, yet it would go on to secure the same prestigious award. The festival, renowned for its celebration of cinematic excellence, has witnessed its fair share of controversies and surprising audience reactions.
For Stewart, the disheartening response to her film at such a prestigious venue would have undoubtedly been a difficult moment. Nevertheless, perhaps encouraged by Pitt and Tarantino before her, she gave the best response in the aftermath.
Kristen Stewart’s Personal Shopper Was Booed At Cannes
As the credits of Personal Shopper began to roll at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the atmosphere turned sour. Kristen Stewart had taken the lead in the movie, as a young American woman called Maureen Cartwright, working as a celebrity’s personal shopper in Paris. The story sees Maurren trying to communicate with her late brother, only to encounter a chilling reception.
Personal Shopper was written and directed by Olivier Assayas. The French filmmaker crafted a narrative that defied traditional classification, blurring the lines between genres in a way that stupefied fans and critics alike. This eclectic blend of genres prompted The Guardian to describe the film as “uncategorizable – yet undeniably terrifying.”
Such innovation in storytelling may have contributed to the audience’s restlessness at Cannes 2016, resulting in reported displeased groans and hisses that filled the theater as the first press screening came to a close.
The festival’s acknowledgment of Assayas’ artistic vision in Personal Shopper was evident despite the audience’s reaction; The picture was a contender for the coveted Palme d’Or award that year. Competing against a backdrop of cinematic masterpieces, Stewart’s film held its own, but ultimately did not secure the top honor. This recognition was instead accorded to the British drama film I, Daniel Blake.
Kristen Stewart Had A Mature Response To Being Booed At Cannes
Kristen Stewart displayed a lot of poise, responding to the boos at Cannes with a level of maturity beyond her years. At the press conference following the controversial reception of Personal Shopper, Stewart confidently addressed the mixed reactions with humor, saying, “Hey, everyone did not boo!”
Director Olivier Assayas also offered his perspective on the audience’s reaction, attributing the unease to the film’s intentionally opaque finale. “It happens to me once in a while where people just don’t get the ending,” Assayas said. Seasoned by his experiences at the film festival, he expressed a readiness for any and all responses.
“When you come to Cannes, you’re prepared,” Assayas stated, underscoring the festival’s reputation as a place where reactions can be as unpredictable as the films themselves. He further likened the release of a film to the vulnerability of childbirth, observing, “Movies have a life of their own … people have expectations of a film and then the film is something else.”
Peter Debruge, Variety’s Chief International Film Critic, penned a review of Personal Shopper and said: “There’s a certain perverse genius to unveiling a ghost movie at Cannes that relies on the audience to deliver the boos as the final credits roll.”
Personal Shopper Received Positive Reviews From Critics
Personal Shopper not only survived the initial boos at Cannes, but also went on to garner acclaim from critics globally. Rotten Tomatoes awarded the film a “Certified Fresh” badge, with an 81% approval rating based on 274 reviews and an average score of 7.2 out of 10.
The consensus on the site reads: “Personal Shopper attempts a tricky series of potentially jarring tonal shifts with varying results, bolstered by a performance from Kristen Stewart that’s impossible to ignore.”
Alexandra Heller-Nicholas from The Blue Lenses admired the film’s malleable nature, saying, “Elastic to the point of fuzzy. Like the best art-horror films, Personal Shopper both provokes and simultaneously mocks our need for answers.” Manuela Lazic of Little White Lies highlighted Stewart’s evolution as an actress, particularly contrasting her role in Personal Shopper with some of her earlier work.
Lazic observed, “[Stewart] offers a refined version of her Twilight saga performance, which oscillates between discrete twitchiness and vocal outbursts, as if emotions had to fight against in order to be felt.” One fan review, also on Rotten Tomatoes, said: “For fans of the Kristen Stewart school of acting, all of the groundbreaking techniques that made her a star are here in Personal Shopper.”