Chronicling four years in the life of a young woman in Oslo as she hurtles towards her 30th birthday, Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person In The World is a rich examination of one woman’s life as she negotiates her way through relationship and career choices, with a glorious central performance from Renate Reinsve. Julie is at a continual crossroads: flitting from possible career to possible career, man to man, as she stumbles her way through life. She grabs opportunities when they come at her, only to be disappointed, striking up a relationship with an older cartoonist played by Anders Danielsen Lie, who suits her in many ways, but with whom she ultimately cannot stay.
An awkward party with his friends inspires her to crash a wedding, where she flirts with another man – the sweet-hearted Eivind, played by Herbert Nordrum – but will he be the antidote for her wandering soul? Capturing the nuances of relationships with gritty aplomb, Reinsve is excellent, making her selfishness, quest for her own happiness and lack of direction compelling. Her dealing with her absent father, obsessed with his new bride and her daughter is quietly heartbreaking and the pain of what her mother endured with him is also quietly stated.
Julie’s individuality, her desire to be her own person, is empowering up until a final act where an element of mansplaining rears its head. Family, motherhood, failed relationships and believable people inhabit the film, and Oslo has never looked better. A drama with class about real decisions made or ignored, The Worst Woman In The World is a detailed snapshot of a life being worked out.
Dir: Joachim Trier (15) (127 mins)
Out in cinemas on Fri 14 Jan
words KEIRON SELF
Advertise with us.
We have a range of options across print and digital.