Film Review – The Worst Person in the World

The Worst Person in the World (MA)

Directed by: Joachim Trier

Starring: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

To describe The Worst Person in the World as 12 chapters in the life of a millennial sounds like a warning. But do not be dissuaded – this is definitely not a cookie cutter film about an indecisive 20-something whining about their first world problems.

Medical student pursuing psychology Julie (Renate Reinsve) is shacked up with settled older man and writer Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), who, being in his 40s, would like to start having children soon.

Julie is not ready for kids just yet and, while on a retreat with Aksel and his parent friends, is starting to feel a little pressured and also like she doesn’t quite fit in. She also doesn’t really know what she wants to do with herself in the way of a career- Aksel is focused, but Julie flits from course to course, dabbles in photography and works part-time in a book store.

She meets coffee barista Elvind (Herbert Nordrum) – who seems more of a fit for Julie – and even though they do not sleep together, sparks fly.

There is an honesty, accuracy and electricity to this brilliant film that manages to capture and depict the many feelings and emotions (often confusing and contradictory) swirling around in the mind of someone in their late 20s to early 30s. That sense of pressure to be something, finding your place in the world, the what-ifs, and the constant pursuit of happiness is encapsulated in a sharp script, brilliant direction and a splendid cast.

There is also a beauty and elegance to this film – uplifting and heartbreaking moments seem to play out in real time, allowing the characters to have space to be, exist and breathe. The sequence in which Julie and Elvind meet is a stunner. The way they interact, aware of the attraction and indulging in flirty behaviour, but consciously avoiding exchanges that would be considered cheating is the most fun and erotic meet-cute put to film.

The Worst Person in the World is a beautifully relatable experience and naturally performed with Reinsve imbuing her character with empathy – this is a must-see.

The Worst Person in the World screens as part of the Perth Festival Lotterywest Films, which runs from November 22 – April 3.

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