• James Rutherford

'The Worst Person In The World': An Emotionally Palpable Coming-of-Age Romantic Drama From Norway


MOvie poster for the 2021 film The Worst Person In The World

The Worst Person In The World (Verdens Verste Menneske) (2021) is a spirited romantic drama from Norway that stars Renate Reinsve as Julie, a gifted young woman beset by indecision over the rightful path to pursue in life. Initially studying medicine in Oslo before changing her major to psychology and again to photography, Julie struggles to balance her intellectual and emotional needs with her yearning for a meaningful relationship.


The storyline is crafted as sequential chapters in Julie's life, numbered 1-12, as well as a prologue and epilogue that book-end her exploits and varying endeavors. Each of the fourteen segments is dedicated to a specific development in Julie's life, much of it related to her burgeoning love affair with Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), a famed comic book artist. Despite their 15-year age difference, Julie and Aksel forge a unique affinity that carries them through life's myriad ups-and-downs. Aksel, however, yearns for the family life that Julie is not ready to embrace, while Julie continues to explore her own desires—including furtive dalliances with a charming barista named Eivind (Herbert Nordrum).


Co-written and directed by Norwegian filmmaker Joachim Trier and serving as the 3rd entry in his "Oslo Trilogy" (following Reprise and Oslo, 31 August), The Worst Person In The World is an achingly sincere and emotionally galvanizing viewing experience. Reinsve is simply extraordinary in her dynamic role, seamlessly balancing acuity and indecision while exploring the ethos of a young woman navigating modern intimacy. Trier, for his part, is an adept storyteller in a refreshingly modernistic sense, dispelling all contrivance and delivering a deeply humane treatise on personal identity in the 21st Century.

 

Watch the trailer: