The Worst Man Alive Review | Movie

Julie (Reinsve) is on the verge of 30 and struggling to find her place in the world. She changes jobs, changes haircuts, changes boyfriends to find out what choices make her feel alive now. Will her older partner Aksel (Lie) be enough to complete her, or is something still missing?

Love stories in cinema can struggle to strike a complex balance between foaming entertainment and grueling drama. There’s nothing wrong with that either – but the real-world experiences we live through are far more contradictory than either extreme, full of mistakes and missed opportunities that are just to live with, whether head over heels or heartbroken. Joachim Trier’s love drama in Oslo The worst person in the world is not a love story in the traditional sense, following a relationship as it blossoms and either prospers or dies. Rather, it is an intricate, deeply emotional, intelligent exploration of how these relationships affect a woman going through as she ages and otherwise grows more into herself.

“I feel like I never see through anything,” Julie (Renate Reinsve) tearfully tells Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie, Trier’s muse since 2006) while time is running out for one of the most beautiful connections of her life. Their journey is filled with euphoria and adrenaline as well as regret and guilt — all those electric feelings that come with the courage to open up to another person that blends into one another. Reinsve (effectively makes her feature film debut here; her only previous film credit, Trier’s Oslo, August 31, gave her just one line of dialogue) effortlessly balances these contradictory states of being. It’s so easy to love her. She has a supernova smile, as warm as liquid sunlight, and eyes so curious and hungry they sparkle at every question, every hesitation.

It’s a tour de force performance, aided by a script so naturalistic, wise, and organic that it often feels like someone has overheard those intimate conversations — conversations you might have had with a partner , the kind you dared not share; that keep you up at night and make your heart heavy. What am I worried about? Am I running out of time? Is it worth it? Can I really survive this pain? Was that a terrible idea? Of course, there are no real answers, and even if there were, it goes back to zero with every new person who comes into your life and changes everything.

A playful love letter to the unknown, it’s far more accessible and viewable than it should be.

Trier transmits these emotions with infinite vitality and plays with form while Julie reflects on her career and repeatedly doubts her feelings. Sexual tension sizzles in a majestic slow-motion image of cigarette smoke being passed from one open mouth to the other (this is how we meet Herbert Nordrum’s Eivind for the first time, bearing the beguiling yet delicate promise of a different future). Magic fills the air in another stunning scene – a feat of engineering and a narrative marvel – in which the entire town pauses for the time it takes Julie to sprint from one man to another for just one tender, penetrating kiss. These unexpected delights co-exist in a film full of spontaneous joy and unpredictable destruction – and despite these occasional imaginative tropes, Trier skillfully manages to avoid any sort of overly theatrical, unconvincingly grand staging. A playful love letter to the unknown, it’s far more accessible and watchable (the film’s 12-chapter structure belies any potential heaviness) than it should be.

Basically, no bad decision makes someone the worst person in the world. But the film pays incredible attention to how devastating it can feel, how joy can turn to pain in the blink of an eye, and how lightning-quick decisions can last a lifetime. In telling Julie’s story – none of a particularly overwhelming singularity, and that’s actually what makes it so touching – Trier and Reinsve, alongside Lie and Nordrum, retool all narrative and romantic expectations. It gives us hope that all of this — the thrill and the heartbreak and the easy love and the awful sadness — will be worth it in the end. It’s nothing short of a miracle.

An honest, tender masterpiece about how growing up has no age limit – love for others and for ourselves makes every risk and loss worthwhile. Rarely has a story been told so beautifully.

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