Today’s review is about one of the biggest Oscar hopefuls in the best foreign-language race this year, the Worst Person in the World. This film has captured critics’ hearts since it first premiered at Cannes. Let’s talk about it.
The Worst Person in the World Review
The Worst Person in the World is directed by Joachim Trier and written by Joachim Trier and Eskil Vogt. It stars Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, and Maria Grazia Di Meo.
Julie is young, beautiful, smart, and not exactly sure what she desires in a career or partner. One night she meets Aksel, a well-known graphic novelist 15 years her senior, and they quickly fall in love.
Wondering if this will be the rest of her life, she meets a coffee barista Eivind, who is also in a relationship. Julie has to decide not just between two men, but also who she is and who she wants to be.
The Worst Person in the World is a deeply felt and raw character study, both brutally honest and compassionately understanding in its observations of human behavior.
It has been quite a while since I’ve seen a film that delves so deeply into a character’s psyche that as the credits rolled, it’s as if you’ve known this human being not for just the 2 hours you’ve spent with them, but rather for an entire lifetime.
The movie concerns itself mostly with the fact that we as people are constantly changing and how that affects our relationships, how we fall in and out of love, how our passions and interests come and go, how our prerogatives shift, what was once so important to us might not mean anything to us anymore.
This heartbreaking and what seemed at the time Earth-shattering experience when you realize that a person that you love, who once fit into your life like the perfect puzzle piece, might not fit in with who you are becoming any longer, is captured so authentically here.
As someone who has just entered into my 30s, these themes really resonated with me and hit so close to home that it almost made me feel uneasy.
And let’s put this out in the open right now. Renate Reinsve, who plays early Julie, is a revelation here. There is absolutely no-frills, no glamor or infallibility to this performance.
She plays Julie so naturally as if she truly understands this character inside and out. You can also tell that Ranspa has an unadulterated love for this person she is playing as well, false and all.
And don’t worry about what the title might infer. Even though Julie most certainly makes her fair share of mistakes in the four years this film chronicles. She is definitely not the worst person in the world, rather someone who is just as multifaceted and complicated as you or I and far too critical of herself.
I’m sure she believes that she is the literal worst during a few instances in this film, which is probably what the title is referring to.
Director and co-writer Joachim Trier has a singular vision here that makes us a much less straightforward romantic comedy and more of a unique experience.
I found the use of chapters to Chronicle each of these integral moments in the four years of Julie’s life that we follow to give the movie a strong foundation and kept the narrative from meandering around too much.
Joachim Trier also gets extremely experimental with narration, perspective, and visuals. A scene in which Julie is tripping on a psychedelic is weird and uncomfortable, but also perfectly places us in her mindset.
And that is what Trier pulls off so beautifully with his film time and time again. We are constantly getting to see the world through Julie’s eyes and her way of thinking, which is a truly accomplished feat of direction.
In many ways, The Worst Person in the World reminds me a lot of Cooper Raiff’s Cha Cha Real Smooth, which also screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
They are both introspective dramedies that lay bare many of the messy realities of life and love through the lens of a young person trying to navigate the bridge between youth and adulthood with someone who is quite a bit older than them.
And they both are about so much you’d seemingly lack anything resembling a plot. But while Raiff’s film opened up its arms to the audience, ready to embrace them with a warm bear hug, The Worst Person in the World is much more droll and somber.
And although it does invite you into Julie’s world with open arms, there are many times you might want to push away.
All of this to say that while I admire this movie for so many different reasons and I really felt like I was transported into Julie’s life in a visceral way, I can’t say that I much enjoyed my time with this film. And I do prefer Cha Cha Real Smooth far more.
I found this movie to drag along in many spots, with some chapters lacking much purpose or impression. Although I connected with Julie because of the authentic writing and the phenomenal performance, that still doesn’t mean there’s entertainment to be had with that connection.
I still highly recommend The Worst Person in the World, but after such universal praise from critics, I was expecting this to leave more of a lasting impact.
So I am going to give The Worst Person in the World film 3.5/5.
A truly thought-provoking character study that drops you deep into the psyche of this young woman while Renat Ransfa fully loses herself in the role.
The Worst Person in the World has a fresh perspective and take on the human experience, but it lacks a certain spark and drives to make it a fully engrossing picture.
What did you think of the film? Do you think it’s overrated or the critics hit the nail on the head with their praise and what do you think its Oscar chances are? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section down below
Thank you so much for reading the review of The Worst Person in the World film. See you next time.
The Worst Person in the World Trailer
Here is the trailer of the Romance Drama movie, The Worst Person in the World.