The Worst Person in the World ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Review by Andrea Carnevali
The chronicles of four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is. Nominated for two Baftas, it is officially out in March.
Director Joachim Trier seems to have a knack for subverting genre expectations. His previous film Thelma, from 2017, was a supernatural / psychological thriller that somehow morphed into a beautiful and heart-breaking coming-of-age story.
With the delightful The Worst Person in the World, which has just been nominated for a BAFTA for “best foreign film”, he tackles the well-trodden tropes of the romantic comedy and creates the perfect ‘anti-rom-com’, a film that effortlessly feels fresh, real, and very honest.
Life is full of complicated layers, ups and downs, and infinite possibilities. We all make mistakes and that’s what makes us human. This film seems to embrace this message to its fullest as it follows Julie (A fantastic Renate Reinsve, also nominated for a BAFTA for this), as she navigates through love at an age when you’re perhaps too young to really be ‘in love’, struggling to find the meaning of life and her place in the world.
“You seem to be waiting for something. I don’t know what… ” says her boyfriend, Aksel, played by the charismatic Anders Danielsen Lie, a recurring presence in Trier’s films.
Julie might be described as “the worst person in the world”, but she’s actually a very relatable “Millennial” with all the contradictions, fears, dreams, and doubts we all have. Does that make us “worst people” too?
This ‘dramedy’, for lack of a better term, is the third in his so-called (and unplanned) Oslo Trilogy, after the beautifully observed debut film Reprise, which followed a group of friends in their 20s striving to make their dream come true (it’s on Netflix) and the fantastic Oslo, August 31st, a film about a drug addict who takes a day off from his rehab centre (on Amazon Prime).
The Worst Person in the World feels like a natural extension of those two films, but it also stands on its own, showing a director at the top of his game, who’s matured and has now a full grasp of his material.
This is a film which is intimate and universal at the same time, humorous, without being quirky or whimsical, as many comedies these days, but it is also deeply moving too, without being sentimental or contrived.
The Worst Person in the World has just been released worldwide and it’s going to have a preview on 13 February at the Curzon in Soho, but won’t be coming out to the UK on general release until 25 of March. Make a mental note, because this is one of the best.
Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.
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