Sundance 2022: “The Worst Person in the World”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

We all try to find our place in this world. We don’t do things we don’t want. We don’t get into relationships we cannot be committed to. We can’t ask for loyalty when we can’t provide one. It goes back and forth with what we want and don’t want. But does it make us bad if we can’t fulfill our promise? Does it turn us into the worst person in the world when we are not where other people expect us to be?

Julie (Renate Reinsve) is a young and vibrant woman. She does all sorts of things in life: she’s a photographer, writer, bookseller and so much more. Her head is all over the place because she is still in search of one particular thing she wants to dedicate her life to. When she meets Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), a well-known graphic novelist with a 15 year age difference, they fall in love instantly. The woman moves in to live with Aksel. Seems everything goes fine for both of them until she meets a coffee batista, Eivind (Herbert Nordrum). Broken into the twelve parts, it’s a story of one woman’s four years of journey of finding her true self, breaking hearts along the way.

Set in modern times, prior to the start of the pandemic, Julie, when we meet her, is full of confidence. She is inspiring and a very goal oriented person. By looking at her, you see she can carry the whole world on her shoulder – as long as that world is not hers. As she says once, “I feel I am a supporting part in my own life,” when she emails Aksel her reasons for breaking up. Yes, she wants to lead her own life. But how can she do it if her head Is all over the place? And that’s why Julie Is such an interesting character. Because she is unpredictable and full of surprises and not as bad as the title of the film suggests her to be, “the worst person in the world.”

Joachim Trier, writer and director of the film, makes an incredibly authentic female-oriented film, describing all the nuances of her life and vision the way only a woman would know. He gets into the head of Julie and recreates an impressive protagonist you will fall in love with. It’s a great romantic story with elements of drama. Some scenes will make you upset. But that’s part of life, isn’t it? And that’s what makes it a must-watch film of the year. Because from start to end, it’s beautiful filmmaking on full display, no matter whether you are into it or not.

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