The Worst Person in the World

The Worst Person in the World ★★★★½

Said “I love this movie” to my partner by the end of the prologue, and that love only grew for the remainder of my time with it. Who knew that a film could be capable of capturing what feels like the entire spectrum of human existence in slightly over two hours? The Worst Person in the World is a picture in full harmony with the world, marvelously bringing us into this one woman’s experience in ways that feel so specific and yet startlingly universal.

We are given empathy and understanding for Julie at every turn without her ever being lionized or made to look like a woman without issues. We may not agree with her always, or better yet we might agree with her at the time without realizing until later that a certain action or behavior was a mistake, just as one is prone to experience in their actual day-to-day life.

Joachim Trier created a film that feels so fluid, so of the moment, so capable of capturing the fullness of life in all of its beauties and tragedies, and doing it in a way that allows you to simply exist with it. You don’t think about what’s going to come next, where this story will go, how things will resolve or what Julie is going to do. There’s something so wonderful about feeling this present with a film, and with a character, extraordinarily played by Renate Reinsve alongside the excellent Anders Danielsen Lie and Herbert Nordrum.

One of the things that I admired the most about the film was the way that it feels like its tone and aesthetic matured along with Julie as it goes through its chapters. The prologue is so bouncy, so young and carefree, and if you skipped to the epilogue, or to the last two chapters, it would feel as though you’re watching an entirely different movie. Yet that development from start to finish is so natural, those steps it takes to get there so authentic and true to the experience of life.

It’s simply a wonder. The kind of film you want to put on again the minute after it’s over because you simply want to live in this world even longer. But then again, sitting with it after spending that time watching it, soaking in all of the thoughts it instilled, all of the emotions it generated, all of the appreciation for life and its ebbs and flows.. that’s such a key part of the gift Trier has given us. It just… breathes.

For Letterboxd, I interviewed Joachim Trier about having a brighter outlook on life, the thing about Éric Rohmer, and making a humanist film about “the biggest things there are”: love and death.

For The Film Stage, I interviewed Renate Reinsve about taking on her first leading role, finding Julie by probing her own honesty, and the delicate nature of time and how it shifts our perspectives.

Block or Report

Mitchell liked these reviews