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The Worst Person in the World

“I’ve never seen anything through. I go from one thing to another.”

Have you ever felt like a complete failure? Like you’re the worst person in the world? These feelings plague Julie (Renate Reinsve), a 20-something college student who isn’t sure what path she wants to take in life. Every new career move leads her to a new guy but she just can’t quite stay put. That is until she meets comic book artist Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie). He’s older, a bit wiser and absolutely smitten with her. As Julie turns 30 and they move in together, she finds herself at a crossroads. That restlessness seeps back in. She then meets Eivind (Herbert Nordrum) at a party and the two can’t help but be drawn to each other. With both Julie and Eivind in separate committed relationships, the world seems to stop just for them. But then reality hits Julie hard as she must reckon with her relationships and her path moving forward.

“Nothing’s ever good enough. The only thing worse than all the idiots is yourself.”

Directed by Joachim Trier, The Worst Person in the World is a richly layered portrait of a young woman in flux. I’m not usually drawn to stories like this but I couldn’t help but be captivated by this one. It’s structured much like a novel and features an introduction, twelve chapters and an epilogue. Oslo, Norway serves as the setting and a gorgeous backdrop for the story. Julie’s decisions in life seem to be solely influenced by the men in her life, whether it’s Aksel, Eivind, another boyfriend or her emotionally distant father. It’s takes a major life event for her to rely on just herself. The film does suffer a bit from a strong male gaze and male perspective especially considering the focus is on the female protagonist. However, Renate Reinsve does at complexity to her character which makes Julie a character you can both sympathize and be frustrated with.

The Worst Person in the World is distributed by Neon and will release in theaters February 4th.

Spencer

Kristen Stewart shines in Pablo Larraín’s latest drama Spencer. Told over the time span of Christmas and Boxing Day in 1991, the story follows Princess Diana (Stewart) as she has a mental breakdown due to Prince Charles’ infidelity, public scrutiny and the unwavering pressures that come with being a member of the royal family. Princess Diana is someone the audience will already be protective of and Stewart does a fantastic job portraying her not as a victim but of a free spirit trapped in a outdated lifestyle that prevents her from being her true authentic self. This is a story of a woman who just wanted to be loved. 

This is a great role for Stewart. And although I couldn’t help but watch her performance and feel like this is an actress pretending to be Princess Diana, she did do a fantastic job getting the mannerisms and portraying Di’s loneliness and despair. It’s a tough watch especially for those of us who hold the memory of Di close to our hearts. Timothy Spall is incredible as Major Alistair Gregory as is Sally Hawkins as Princess Di’s closest confidante Maggie.

Spencer is distributed by Neon. It’s currently playing in select theaters and available to rent on demand.

The Killing of Two Lovers

David (Clayne Crawford) points the barrel of his gun at his wife Nikki (Sepideh Moafi) and her lover Derek (Chris Coy) as they sleep soundly in bed. Completely intent on killing them, he changes his mind at the last minute. What follows for David is a journey to mend his broken relationship and reconnect with his four children. However, he’s desperately holding onto a past that no longer exists and struggles to come to terms with his new normal.

Written and directed by Robert Machoian, The Killing of Two Lovers is a brooding and atmospheric drama . Set in a desolate region of Utah, the story is quiet and spare. The subtleties speak volumes. The setting, the story and the characters are given room to breathe even when the tension starts to mount. It seems like the perfect movie to come out of a pandemic. Over the course of the film,  sounds seem to haunt David: the squeaky floor beneath his feet, the opening and closing of a door, and the gun itself. These sounds are added over the scenes and almost act like a narrator. This is a technique I’ve never witnessed before and I found it quite effective.

The Killing of Two Lovers is a must see.

The Killing of Two Lovers is now in theaters and on video on demand. Visit Neon’s website for more information.

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