the worst person in the world2021.
Directed by Joachim Trier.
Starring Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum, Maria Grazia Di Meo, Hans Olav Brenner, Marianne Krogh, Helene Bjørnebye, Vidar Sandem, Anna Dworak, Thea Stabell, Deniz Kaya, Lasse Gretland, Karen Røise Kielland, Karla Nitteberg Aspelin, Sofia Schandy Bloch, Savannah Marie Schei, Eia Skjønsberg, and Ruby Dagnall.
It chronicles four years in the life of Julie, a young woman navigating the troubled waters of her love life and struggling to find her professional career, leading her to a realistic view of who she really is.
Whether Julie (an amazingly empathetic complex revealing twist by Renate Reinsve) is the worst person in the world is up for debate, but she starts off as one of the most indecisive, with a prologue describing her going through numerous studies and career changes within 10 minutes. . Director Joachim Trier (co-writing with Eskil Vogt and finishing his Oslo trilogy of independent films dealing with similar themes) establishes some of Julie’s interests (psychology, photography, sex) with a sense of humor when she strikes up a relationship with the cartoonist of workaholic comics. Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie, a regular collaborator with the filmmaker who gives her best performance to date), in his early forties and roughly ten years her senior.
Aksel expresses that if they get more serious, it probably won’t last because they’re at different stages of their lives, but it’s not enough to stop the magnetism. From there, Julie is happy in some ways, but she also leaves behind an unfulfilling life, and Aksel gives her hope of one day having children. That’s just a small sample of what the worst person in the world deals with relationships (the film is initially described as 12 chapters of Julie’s life with a prologue and an epilogue, taking place over four years), as the script continually reveals Julie as she explores life. , love, loss, family problems, gender roles, political correctness, eroticism and perhaps one of the most humane views on the notion of cheating on your partner (I’m not saying that no one does it or not, but the option is there).
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that due to Julie’s aforementioned indecisiveness and lack of career direction, not to mention that Aksel can’t seem to match her sex drive, he doesn’t necessarily give her enough emotional attention and is busy in the spotlight. (his comic is being adapted into an animated film, though it’s been stripped of its rawness and sharpness, which he doesn’t like, in turn, making it even more difficult for him to focus on the relationship), and of course, the age difference, that she might doubt being together. However, this one is done with a brilliant touch of magical realism, a beautiful sequence of a passenger taking the driver’s seat in the car of life. The script is crisp, with rich performances that allow for a riveting sense of living at home, but the imaginative visual detours (including a drug trip in which Julie confronts a strained relationship with her father and the effects that pregnancy and aging could having on his body, culminating in a moment both unpleasant and empowering) heighten the complexities of the drama.
Without going into details, Julie befriends now-fellow Elvind (Herbert Nordrum, who also gives a fantastic and delicate performance), who is older than her but lacks Aksel’s ambition. Julie’s life is a mess for nearly every second of the 130-minute runtime, but there’s a line in the movie about how sometimes the best is messy, which is a palpable sentiment here. That is not to say that all creative choices in the worst person in the worldas convenient events occasionally happen and I’m not entirely convinced of one aspect that gets thrown into the mix during the third act.
Such decisions would probably sink other romantic dramas, but then again, Renate Reinsve is an absolute delight here. All the actors take turns so naturalistic and convincing that even when it seems that the story is slipping away from Joachim Trier, it is not. Clutter is simply enhancing art. the worst person in the world it’s carefully constructed, proud of its flawed characters with untold amounts of empathy, gripping, hilarious, and most of all, life-affirming.
Flashing Myth Rating – Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also the reviews editor for Flickering Myth. Check here for new reviews, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at [email protected]