The Worst Person in the World: This 2021 Norwegian film is a character study for a young woman searching for her direction. Played by Renate Reinsve, she is a refreshing, likeable, engaging young woman who in the role is a brilliant student who can’t seem to finish anything. She shows tremendous promise but then finds ways to justify taking an exit ramp. From looking to initially become a doctor, her thoughts and desires change. So too in her relationships. She meets an older young man, played effectively by Anders Danielsen Lie. They begin a relationship. They move in together and they start their lives, he as a comic book writer of an edgy counter culture character. But it is starting to get traction. She is working in a book store as a salesperson, nowhere reaching her potential. The story is set into twelve chapters, showing aspects of her life over a four year period. Things happen for her that given what she is shown in her character so far are not altogether unexpected. So why the title? There are moments in her where you can see from where the title comes. Not only does she act in her own self interest, she can be quite callous. I like both of the lead characters. It turns from a more light review of a young woman’s life to something much more serious than I expected. It meets this challenge head on and with quality performances, especially by Danielsen Lie.
Everyone brings different things to their viewing experience. For me, there are traits in me and that others have seen in me that are reflected in this young woman. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed this movie more than many I have seen in the past year. There aren’t many memorable films for this year, but I enjoyed this one. The Europeans I think make relationship movies that are more real. The characters aren’t caricatures looking for a simple laugh, and a predictable end game. Rather, they are more real with possible situations and exploring real feelings and emotion. I won’t get into the ending, but it wasn’t in any way what I was expecting. So if you can find this, it is worth checking out.
Stay Close: I finished watching this series. After finishing it I realized that I had also watched Safe, which was another Harlan Coben story. This was a who dunnit with its own twists and turns. The characters are colourful and somewhat predictable. Coben follows a fairly predictable path but it has some surprises. Although it took longer than it should in this series to reach the end, the last couple of episodes picked up speed. The ending made sense. There are moments where the main Irish detective has things happen that are laughably fortuitous. Things happen that you just have to accept. Is this memorable TV? Not really. But it was alright, and there were some good scenes.
Dune: I re-watched this movie, and as expected without having the focus on who was who and the underlying plot, I enjoyed it more. I think that the performances are very good. There are excellent scenes with remarkable visuals with these amazing spaceships. It is an epic film with bold vision. Director French Canadian Denis Villeneuve has put together a much better representation than done earlier by David Lynch. It reflects the source material well and is a great launching point for the rest of the story. This is truly a theatre film because of the visuals are so stunning. On the small screen it is effective but not to the same extent. I look forward to the Second installment and how he will show us some of the scenes that I am expecting as the worms become more important and Paul transforms into the leader of the Fremen people. This, much like Arrival which I have seen a few times since my in-theatre viewing, and Blade Runner 2049, are films that can reveal more upon multiple viewings which make it richer and deeper. So it is one that I was glad to spend some more time with.