helle’s review published on Letterboxd:
As people, we have far too many choices. What do I want to study? When do I want kids? Do I want to pursue a relationship with this person? Do I want to continue this other relationship? With many choices, there also come consequences. This film explores exactly that: Consequences that may make us feel like The Worst Person in the World. It is also about reflections on choosing, or not choosing, becoming as important as the choices themselves.
The Worst Person in the World is the last part of the Oslo trilogy (alongside Reprise and Oslo, August 31st). The stories and characters are different in the three films, but as you can tell they all take place in Oslo. They all are a melancholy reflection on “what could have been”. In the film’s most beautiful scene, Julie turns on the light in the kitchen which pauses the entire city. Making time for her to explore a relationship that could have been.
One of the things I admire about Joachim Trier is how he makes places and time have such a significant role in his films, not just what happens. An opportunity might occur, but the timing just isn’t right. The recurring theme of how we see ourselves in relation to others: lovers, potential lovers, parents, friends, people we met at that party that one time. How we evaluate ourselves in different roles: Am I a good friend, daughter/son, boyfriend/girlfriend, or author? Am I The Worst Person in the World?
“That I stand like that on the side of my life, that I am just a supporting role in my own life”.
As I’ve read a couple of reviews of this film, I’ve seen many complain that Julie isn’t the main character and that the film should’ve been called “Aksel and Eivind”. Although that’s true, I took it as the liberation story of a woman who wants to define herself outside of the male gaze.
On a personal note, Julie is a character I easily connected with and I’m not the only one. Ten minutes into the film my friend turned to me and told me that she felt just like Julie. Julie is everything and nothing, any woman will find a way to relate to her in some way. Her indecisiveness, her constant need to prove that she has control. She’s funny, charismatic and even though she might feel like The World Person in the World, she surely isn’t.
I do want to apologize to some of my friends. Ever since I saw this film for the first time, I seriously have not been able to shut up about it. It might be the Norwegian Pride, but it’s also just a damn good movie. The images, sounds, emotions in the film sit in my head and body and stay with me, not only as a favorite among Joachim Trier’s films but as a favorite film.