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Ever wish you could put a pause on your current life decisions to explore a different option? The Norwegian film “The Worst Person in the World” takes this question literally in one scene.
The 30-year-old Julie (Renate Reinsve) is in a relationship with an older man, Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie). But she recently met Eivind (Herbert Nordrum) at a party and was smitten by him. To consider how things might be with Eivind, Julie — and the film — stop time so she can go across town and see him. As she wanders through Oslo, everyone else but the would-be lovers are frozen.
Discussing the sequence, the film’s director, Joachim Trier, said that he didn’t want it to feel supernatural.
“It’s not about, oh my goodness, she’s discovered a time machine,” he said. “Rather, it’s sort of a musical romantic sequence that plays around with the idea of how it feels to be in love as if time stands still.”
Rather than rely heavily on digital effects to make the moment work, Trier and his crew brought in extras to stand still around Oslo. This involved temporarily stopping traffic and sometimes having only brief moments to allow everyone to run into position and capture the shot.
Trier said people in Oslo still come up to him to complain about the time he blocked traffic at busy intersections for his shoot.
“But it’s become a popular movie in Norway,” he said, “so I hope people forgive me.”
Read the “Worst Person in the World” review.