The ravishing story of a woman who can’t decide her career path or keep true love in place.
“The Worst Person in the World” is a Norwegian film focusing on one woman, who can’t decide what her career opportunities are and she has two love stories that don’t quite pay off. It’s quite a reflection of life when those can’t seem to get their lives figured out, and transcend from one drama to the next. What are we doing, where are we going, and how do we know when we’re there?
It’s told in 12 chapters, beginning with a prologue and an epilogue. The names of the chapters are “The Others,” “Cheating,” “Oral Sex in the Age of #MeToo,” “Our Own Family,” “Bad Timing,” “Finnmark Highlands,” “A New Chapter,” “Julie’s Narcissistic Circus,” “Bobcat Wrecks Xmas,” “First Person Singular,” “Positive,” and “Everything Comes to an End.” Some just come and go, but most of them keep you involved in ways you need to see to believe.
Writer/director Joachim Trier presents these chapters of the main heroine’s life, and Renate Reinsve is marvelous and delightful in the role she’s given. And it also happens to be the third chapter of his Oslo Trilogy, which also featured “Reprise” and “Oslo: August 31st.”
The story, set in Oslo, Norway, introduces us to a young medical student named Julia (Reinsve), and how she fell in love with Askel (Anders Danielson Lie), the creator of the graphic novel “Bobcat,” who is older than her.
As the chapters commence, we try to figure out her ambitions. Askel wants to know what Julie wants out of her life, and if they can start a family. She says she’ll have kids when the time is right. But what does she have to do before she’s whole?
On her way home from a publishing event she crashes another party, where she has some fun with another party goer named Eivand (Herbert Nordrum). She’s so in love with him that a few chapters later, they’re the only people moving, while everyone else freezes. It must be a movie romantic fantasy the way it’s photographed and presented.
That’s when she decides to break off her relationship with Askel. And that’s when we see Eivand’s side of the story when he’s married to the environmentalist Sunniva (Maria Grazia Di Meo), and falls in love with Julie.
Other chapters consist of Julie writing a blog about how she prefers oral sex, which becomes mildly successful, and eating magic mushrooms, which sends her on a bizarre trip with Bobcat coming to life and a bloody tampon used in an unusual fashion. You just have to see to believe.
“The Worst Person in the World” is a delightful and emotional film that tackles on one woman trying to figure out what she wants out of life. She has decisions and some regrets, and Reinsve is utterly amazing. Lie and Nordrum are also fabulous as her dream guys, who already figured out their life goals and have to deal with how she must figure out hers. There are arguments, but there’s also fun within both relationships, which work well on their own terms.
A few stories aren’t as memorable as most of them, but Joachim Trier knows the stakes of life, and how not everything is supposed to work out the way movie-goers expect. Both international and independent feature reflect on life and directions of people, who either make good or bad choices, and they all depend on where one thing leads to. “The Worst Person in the World” has a certain kind of meaning within its nature, and it’s compelling.
In Select Theaters This Friday