The Reel Review

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This Norwegian romantic dramedy follows four years in the life of Julie, as she navigates the complexities of love and career in modern day Oslo. This coming of age film is the final entry in the film series dubbed “the Oslo trilogy,” following 2006’s Reprise and 2011’s Oslo, August 31st, from director Joachim Trier (Thelma).

Renate Reinsve in The Worst Person in the World.

The beautiful thing about The Worst Person in the World is how authentic, intimate and relatable it is. This is a rom-com for those who don’t really love rom-coms – a much more realistic, complex film that tackles a myriad of topics – relationships, motherhood, career, and death. The screenplay from Trier and longtime collaborator Eskil Vogt is extremely clever and intimate – as work-in-progress Julie, upon turning 30, messily, selfishly and sometimes recklessly tries to figure out who she is and what she truly wants out of life.

Herbert Nordrum and Renate Reinsve in The Worst Person in the World.

Theater-trained Renate Reinsve’s big screen debut also happens to be a career defining performance, deftly capturing that quirky human trait of wanting what we don’t have, only to get it, and to then decide we want something else. Trier’s direction, literally capturing (without CGI) the heady euphoria of how the world seems to stop moving when you realize that you are in love, is magical.

Ultimately, The Worst Person in the World is about time – and making the most of the brief amount of it that we have on Earth. Reinsve’s heartbreaking scenes with an also excellent Anders Danielsen Lie as Julia’s older, cartoonist boyfriend, particularly in the film’s third act, is lump-in-your-throat incredible.

REEL FACTS

Renate Reinsve winning Best Actress at Cannes.

• Renate Reinsve, who won the Best Actress award at Cannes for her performance in The Worst Person in the World, had just decided to give up acting for carpentry when Trier approached her about starring in his film.

The Worst Person in the World is Norway’s 2022 Oscar nominee for Best International Film and is also nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

• Trier says he wrote The Worst Person in the World with Reinsve in mind for the lead following her brief, one line part in the second film in his Oslo trilogy, 2011’s Oslo, August 31st.

 

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