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  • Wendy Shreve

WHO IS THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD?

No, it's not the dictator-of-the- moment, at least not in Writer/Director Joachim Trier's film. The answer may surprise you, but that spoiler will have to wait until you watch the movie, The Worst Person in the World (2021).

Julie, a thirty-something Norwegian who lives in Oslo loves to party, smoke, and as a classic, unidentified ADHD persona, she has a lot of unfinished business. She avoids confronting her self-centered father, deciding her career path and committing to relationships of any kind. We notice very early that she hasn't any close friends; she's skittish about finding love. She has too many choices.


Body fluids reign, as per the usual these days. For those who may not want to see the typical examples, if you can overcome your revulsion, you will appreciate the qualities of this picture. Foremost, Renate Reinsve as Julie captivates. Her emotions run the gamut which Reinsve handles with aplomb. Her malleable face, natural beauty never becomes tedious. An accomplishment in a movie which runs over two hours.


Her co-stars, Anders Danielsen Lie as Askel and Herbert Nordrum as Elvind represent polar opposites of Julie's search for the right man. To say Askel has more appeal to this viewer comprises subjective irrelevance but I'll mention it anyway. What matters involves Julie's inability to see for herself who would best fulfill her emotional needs. As a free spirit (Oh, she loves to run) , any man that desires more than she can give may be disappointed.


Many creative, commitment-challenged people will empathize with Julie. She begins searching for a practical job, then segues to finding more innovative career choices.


Writer Trier and co-writer Eskil Vogt have conjured a very believable character. More, Trier along with his Cinematographer Kasper Tuxen take an inventive approach. Expecting a straightforward narrative after the initial introduction to Julie, the creators insert a stop-time sequence that startles and other surreal scenarios.


Topical references to such controversies as the Danish cartoonist, freedom of speech, whether to have children in this chaotic world (Pope Francis, skip this movie), #MeToo, political correctness, sexism plus other contemporary discourse are interspersed with Julie's self-discovery journey.


Does Julie find her way? Invest your time in seeing this complex, albeit sometimes irritating drama. Most likely, the writers had hoped that audiences would respond accordingly to the occasional shock value. Arguably, regular moviegoers may have seen it all. The takeaway in The Worst Person in the World will be how bemused or unamused you will be by the filmmakers' risks.


Unrated. Cancer, drugs, graphic nudity (men and women), smoking, vomiting and urination. Suffice it to say, an R rating would be appropriate. Norwegian with English subtitles.


Now showing at select theaters. Locals: Entertainment Cinemas, South Dennis.



Earlier reviews not seen on this website (before May 20, 2021) are available on https://www.rottentomatoes.com/critic/wendy-shreve/movies or my previous blog site, featuringfilm.com


Care to share? Send your comments to featuringfilmreviewer@gmail.com

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