The Worst Person in the World (2021)

worst person in the world poster 2021 movie norwegian
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great story about the complexities of relationships and oneself


Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Worst Person in the World

Studio:  Oslo Pictures/MK2 Productions/Film i Väst

Genre(s):  Drama/Romance

Release Date(s):  February 4, 2021 (Indonesia)/July 8, 2021 (Cannes)/October 15, 2021 (Norway)/February 4, 2022 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

worst person in the world julie eivind bathroom renate reinsve herbert nordrum

When you can pee in front of someone in your first hook-up with them…it’s love?

Julie (Renate Reinsve) is a flighty person.  She is passionate, but her passions change like whims.  When she starts a relationship with comic book artist Aksel Willman (Anders Danielsen Lie), she is forced to face this indecisiveness in her life when she meets a man named Eivind (Herbert Nordrum) who is also in a relationship.  Julie doesn’t know what she wants with her life…she’s approaching thirty and doing what she wants when she wants to is starting to damage others, but she also wants to be free.

Directed by Joachim Trier, The Worst Person in the World (Verdens verste menneske) is a Norwegian drama-romance.  The movie is considered final part of Trier’s Oslo Trilogy which includes Reprise (2006) and Oslo, August 31st (2011).  The film performed well at Cannes and garnered Renate Reinsve an award for Best Actress.  The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay.  The Criterion Collection released a special edition of the film (Criterion #1132).

worst person in the world julie aksel anders danielsen lie renate reinsve break-up sex

Was the break-up sex good for you?

The Worst Person in the World seemed to explode and praise came with it.  The movie was one of those foreign films that seems to make the jump to American films and wins people instead of distancing them.  With good word of mouth, I blind purchased The Worst Person in the World…and I’m glad I did.

The film is a great study of oneness and what it means to be in a relationship.  It is also the story about how people can be at different places at different times and regardless of planning can end up right where they need to be.  Julie wants autonomy, but also really likes the bond of a relationship.  She however doesn’t like to be locked in (in anything) and ends up doing little with her abilities (which isn’t wrong, but it can be seen as a “waste” by people not in her shoes).  A nice telling moment in the film is when she finds a person who is like her…but the challenges of a relationship and changing views don’t allow this relationship to even work.

Renate Reinsve is great as the lead.  Despite doing things you can’t approve of, the script keeps her likeable and relatable.  She is floundering much of the movie and not good with herself and her life.  Anders Danielsen Lie plays the “wiser” older man in Julie’s life but also has his own issues with being good with himself and his past.  Herbert Nordrum’s Eivind seems to live a bit more in the now (like Julie), but he too doesn’t really know what he wants or needs in the long term (which doesn’t go well for their relationship).

worst person in the world smoking scene renate reinsve herbert nordrum

It was all fun and games until it turned out that Eivind was a Dementor

The movie looks great and showcases Oslo which looks like a very nice city.  In many ways, the film feels a lot like Amelie which has Amelie dancing through her own view of reality.  Julie’s reality can stop and go as time seems to speed up and slow down and through a magic mushroom drug trip, can express her fears more accurately than she could ever say.  It is a surprisingly visual movie which can go from surreal to sharing the smoke of a cigarette.

The Worst Person in the World is a great film that can benefit from multiple watching.  It is largely character driven, but it also has a solid story.  I feel that it is the type of movie that changes from different periods of watching it.  Someone who is just out of college might view it from a person in their fifties or thirties.  It does a great job capturing the idea of how a person can change with time and not realize it…but hopefully everyone ends up on the right path eventually.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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