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The Worst Person in the World

Featured image for review of The Worst Person in the World on Sean Kelly on Movies

The Worst Person in the World

Synopsis:
The chronicles of four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path, leading her to take a realistic look at who she really is.

A young woman unable to commit to one thing has her romantic feeling divided between two men in . Julie () is a young woman on the cusp of turning 30, who has juggled many career aspirations, before deciding to be an aspiring photographer, with her working at a bookstore to make ends meet. Julie falls for older comic book artist Aksel () and it isn't long before the two move in together. However, Julie is not sure about Aksel's desire to start a family and after spontaneously crashing a party, she ends up meeting Eivind (), with who she is able to better relate.

The Worst Person in the World is a romantic comedy co-written and directed by Joachim Trier, with the film being the third and final chapter of the Danish-born Norwegian filmmaker's “Oslo Trilogy,” which also includes 2006's Reprise and 2011's Oslo, August 31st. Told in 12 chapters, with a prologue and epilogue, The Worst Person in the World is a coming-of-age story of sorts for the protagonist Julie, who has always been afraid of commitment, which also includes her love life. Julie's long-term boyfriend Aksel is in his mid-40s and is ready to settle down, which leads to Julie drifting towards the much more carefree Eivind, who himself is already in a relationship with the very environmentally conscious Sunniva ().

The title of The Worst Person in the World is a bit of a misnomer since the protagonist Julie isn't particularly a terrible person, other than the fact that she is unable to accept the current state of her life. In fact, the film periodical narration suggests that the title of “Worst Person in the World” belongs to another character in the film.

With the plot of the film divided into 12 chapters, The Worst Person in the World is a very vignette-heavy film. Some of the more memorable chapters of the film include Julie's first meeting with Eivind, where they flirt with each other without doing anything that can be considered cheating on their respective partners, a chapter that has Julie freezing time and running through the streets of Oslo, and a very surreal psychedelic mushroom trip.

Joachim Trier's Oslo Trilogy of films are connected more for their themes about time and the fact that they feature Anders Danielsen Lie (Bergman Island) in one of the lead roles. As such, it is quite possible to watch The Worst Person in the World without first having to watch both Reprise and Oslo, August 31st. On its own, The Worst Person in the World still ends up being a compelling look at one young woman's search for direction in her life.

Trailer for The Worst Person in the World

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Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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