Joachim Trier’s romantic comedy-drama movie The Worst Person in the World Norwegian: Verdens verste menneske was released in 2021.
It completes the director’s “Oslo Trilogy,” which also includes the movies Reprise 2006 and Oslo, August 31st, 2011. Renate Reinsve won the Best Actress prize for her work in the movie, and the movie had its world premiere in competition at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival.
The movie received nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards. Ola Flttum composed the movie’s music.
Julie, a medical student in Oslo, later changed her major to psychology before beginning a relationship with comic book artist Aksel Willman, who is fifteen years her senior.
She spends a weekend with Aksel at his parents’ place while dabbling in writing. Julie is hesitant when Aksel proposes having a family with her.
Julie crashes a wedding reception and meets a barista named Eivind while she is returning home after a publishing event for Aksel.
Despite the fact that they are both in relationships, they spend the evening laughing and being intimate without engaging in sexual activity. They separate ways after exchanging only their initial names.
Julie creates a brief narrative about oral sex and feminism. It impresses Aksel, who urges her to share it online where it gains attention.
She celebrates her 30th birthday at the house of her divorced mother, but her estranged father is unable to join her since, according to him, he hurt his back.
Days later, Julie’s half-sister unintentionally confesses that on the day of her birthday, their father was watching her compete in a football tournament. He offers justifications for turning down Aksel’s invitation to visit Julie and him in Oslo.
Julie met Eivind and his girlfriend Sunniva while working at a bookstore. Julie feels neglected and bored as Aksel bemoans the sanitized film adaptation of his politically incorrect comic series Bobcat during dinner with his brother and sister-in-law.
She has a dream in which she meets Eivind and they start dating. She ends their relationship the following day. Sunniva’s limiting lifestyle causes Eivind to leave the environmentally conscious person.
Together, Julie and Eivind move in. When one of his friends discovers Eivind’s stash of hallucinogenic mushrooms at a small party he arranges, Julie consumes them and experiences hallucinations.
The next evening, she confides in Eivind that he allows her to be herself, but he doesn’t appear to believe her. When Aksel’s brother runs into Julie at work, he lets her know that Aksel has pancreatic cancer that is incurable.
Eivind eventually comes across Julie’s short story. He assumes that it is based on her real-life experiences, which Julie vehemently disputes and treats as beneath him.
When Julie finds out she is pregnant, she waits to notify Eivind. When she sees Aksel in the hospital, he confides in her that he still loves her and is terrified to pass away.
Julie acknowledges that she is expecting. She is still afraid, despite his assurances that she would be a fine mother. Eivind and Julie choose to part ways while she decides whether or not to retain the kid after Julie returns home and informs him of her pregnancy.
After spending time with Aksel, Julie later hears from his brother in a voicemail that Aksel won’t likely make it through the night.
She miscarries as she’s taking a shower. Later on, Julie is employed as a set photographer for a motion picture.
After taking a picture of an actress, she spots her outside with a baby and Eivind. She goes back home to process the day’s pictures.
What Does the End Scene and The Time-Freeze Mean?
Julie’s ambivalence is cleverly incorporated into the narrative structure of the movie. Even though it just needs a tiny amount of this, it always works.
The first scene is when time stands still as Julie leaves to see Eivind. The fact that this happens just as she is about to declare that she wants to break up with Aksel does indicate the conflict in her thoughts.
Time slows down for everyone else but the two newlyweds are obviously metaphorical, but it literally means that Julie chooses to go on a date with Eivind rather than talk to her partner.
The globe doesn’t start moving again until the following day, or some other day marked by her shutting off the switch, at which point she decides to finally inform Aksel.
Now that Aksel has died away, Julie is a still photographer on a movie set, and Eivind has lost touch with her.
She is working when she glances out the window and sees Eivind with the actress she was photographing and their young child.
Returning to her apartment, where she lives alone, she sits down to edit the pictures she took without her own child or boyfriend there, and the end credits start to roll.
With her career as a working professional and having finally discovered her vocation in life, Julie feels more confident in her decisions and in herself when she sees Eivind outside the window.
The development of Julie from her unsure personality to her self-assured self has now been masterfully shown in the movie.
The film, with all its stunning visuals and aesthetics, as well as Renate Reinsve’s captivating performance which won her the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival, connects Julie to the generation of the present, the generation that is nearing or has just passed the age of thirty, just as Julie does in the movie.
It is the misjudgments, the whimsicalness, the had-been, and the strong decisions that make Julie who she is.