A film that’s told in twelve parts, as well as a prologue and an epilogue, Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World (Verdens verste menneske), fits a lot into its two-hour runtime, yet never overstays its welcome. As she is quickly approaching 30 years old, Julie (Renate Reinsve), a med student-turned psychology student-turned photographer, is trapped in an existential mess. It’s not until she crashes a party and meets Eivind (Herbert Nordrum) that she realises she wants out of her long-term relationship with graphic novelist, Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), to gain a new perspective on life.

Enough praise cannot be sung for Reinsve, her portrayal of Julie making the film truly captivating. Despite the title, Julie is incredibly likeable, and her journey to find her footing in her early thirties will be relatable to so many who are also feeling unsure about their place in this world.

Most coming-of-age films centre around people in their teenage years, but there aren’t too many that show what happens to those who exist in limbo, old enough to now be expected to have things figured out while everything is still just as uncertain. Life’s problems don’t simply end when someone turns eighteen and the protagonist has finally gotten into the university of their choice. This film shows the reality of a new handful of problems emerging when someone enters their thirties, figuring out a career, navigating adult relationships, and decisions about the future of family and children.

Trier does a wonderful job portraying these issues in The Worst Person in the World in a way that’s raw, refusing to shy away from the consequences of people’s actions, the fragility of relationships, and the realisation of the terrifying, yet inevitable ending of one’s life.

RATING: 4/5


INFORMATION

CAST: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum

DIRECTOR: Joachim Trier

WRITERS: Joachim Trier, Eskil Vogt

SYNOPSIS: Julie navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path.

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