The Worst Person in the World (Verdens Verste Menneske) (2021)

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Image via weliveentertainment.com

Told in 12 chapters (with a prologue and an epilogue), Joachim Trier immerses us in a contemplative story of a woman who seems to be failing at being an adult.

The prologue sets up everything we need to know about Julie (Renate Reinsve); she can’t stick at anything. She bounces between careers – doctor, psychologist, photographer, writer – and men, with each change transforming her image of herself. We think maybe her path might be to find the right job and to settle down with the right man but she is no ingenue. She doesn’t mould herself to the expectations of any man. She is resolute in her holidaying with the chaotic family of lover Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie) and she knows she doesn’t want motherhood and the bitter tumult of resentment that comes with marriage.

It would be easy to dislike Julie but Reinsve (who, according to IMDb trivia, had just given up acting for carpentry when Trier met with her about this film) gives her a winsome authenticity that seems grounded and perennially optimistic. The men in her life think they know her but she proves that she is her own person. It is hard not to like such chutzpah.

The pace drags a little, particularly as we get to chapter 10 and the contemplative conversations extend. It’s worth it for the epilogue though – sweet and sparse and satisfying.


Have you seen this film? Let me know your thoughts.

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