As beautiful as Olivier Assayas’ films appear, they are certainly enigmatic. The filmmaker is not interested in a world that is clear, explicable, cut, and dried. It is intentional that his viewers leave with questions about what was real or imagined, and whether there can ever be a clear line between the two. In Personal Shopper, he dives into the world of ghosts and spiritualism, and Assayas’ dreamy quasi-reality perfectly surrounds such a subject.
I’m sure that you, like me, are immediately wondering if Matt Ross’ Captain Fantastic has anything to do with Elton John’s classic album, Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy. The answer, sadly, is no. No dulcet piano ballads, no catchy riffs, no heartfelt autobiographical choruses. However, if you hate Elton John and love self-righteous polemics on mainstream American society dressed up as family drama, then you’re going to love this one.