By Nick DelVescovo
In my quest to watch every movie nominated at this year’s Academy Awards, which premieres on Mar. 27, I decided to check out “The Worst Person in the World.” The Norwegian film is among the five movies nominated for best international feature film at this year’s Oscars. It is directed by Joachim Trier and was released in the United States on Feb. 4. “The Worst Person in the World” is a dark romantic comedy that follows Julie (Renate Reinsve), a young woman who is trying to understand who she is as she navigates through different relationships and careers. The film effectively portrays the many decisions we have to make in life and how commitment can be daunting.
“The Worst Person in the World” is a unique experience. It is divided into 12 chapters as well as an epilogue and a prologue to introduce and conclude the story and characters. The chapters are reminiscent of recalling memories. We witness important beats in Julie’s life as she tries to make sense of the world and her situation. Although its name may imply otherwise, Julie is far from “The Worst Person in the World.” She deals with relationships and difficult decisions in her life from a very grounded and sensible perspective. Julie is a human being, and Reinsve does an excellent job at portraying the emotion and, at times, coldheartedness of dealing with the relationship issues that we all have gone through or witnessed at some point in our lives. Julie is reluctant to the idea of having children and committing to someone. She questions what career she should pursue and reevaluates her relationships throughout the film, which makes it realistic and relatable for audiences. I can confidently say that while it still has its flaws, “The Worst Person in the World” is one of the best and most realistic dark romantic films in recent years.
The creative and unique directing throughout “The Worst Person in the World” is another aspect that makes it such an appealing watch. I’m undoubtedly a sucker for a movie that takes risks and does something weird or out of the box. This movie includes many instances where the director is willing to take risks, which is an aspect of the film that makes it stand out. Without spoiling anything, it contains one of the most absurd psychedelic trip sequences — and I was all for its weirdness.
In an era where technology is all around us and plays an integral role in how we communicate and interact, I feel like movies usually do not have a solid grasp on how to utilize devices like phones and computers. “The Worst Person in the World” has the best use of phones and laptops I think I have ever seen in a film. Director Joachim Trier has a true understanding of how to translate phone and laptop communication in a way that I have never seen before and it is truly worthy of noting.
Overall, I really enjoyed “The Worst Person in the World” and its integration of deep and complex characters along with hints of comedy to relieve the bleak sadness this movie sometimes holds. It is a film that I can see defining future films of its genre and is worth checking out.