Director: Joachim Trier
Screenplay: Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier
Starring: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum
Country: Norway, France, Denmark, Sweden
Running Time: 128m
Year: 2021
BBFC Certificate: 15

Joachim Trier’s third film in his loose Oslo Trilogy is now available on Blu-ray, following a whirlwind of accolades, especially for the radiant star, Renate Reinsve.

The Worst Person In The World follows Julie (Reinsve), who probably isn’t the worst person in the world, but certainly hasn’t worked out what she wants to do with her life or with whom.

It’s almost as if John Hughes directed Bridget Jones. Funny, breezy, while wrestling with big ideas rattling around the head of our unreliable, somewhat privileged lead, struggling to find her way while thinking she knows it all. The film, and Reinsve, can be brutally disarming. The quiet moments, such as when she wanders city streets alone, are sublime. Steadily, the film coalesces into something more casually ambitious; Julie moves in with cartoonist Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), but her mind wanders to Eivind (Herbert Nordrum). They represent different things, but Aksel is the more interesting to us, a creative agent provocateur with a bit of an attitude. Also, not the worst person in the world. In fact, they’re an opinionated lot who think they know it all, but the cast of characters barely register as unpleasant. Maybe Triers’ film is saying we all have our moments and the script is clever enough to offer some believable redemption.

The film is divided into chapters and explores different tones with Reinsve a narrative anchor. From quiet understated irony to animated mushroom-fuelled fantasy, Trier’s film is astonishingly confident and a delight, as intelligent as it is silly. How the Julie in the prologue truly became the one in the epilogue is not entirely clear, however; at some point, she became a passenger in her own story (though Reinsve is always phenomenal). It is a minor quibble though and the journey is vibrant and surprisingly emotional. If Julie does step slightly to one-side, it is only to allow Aksel the space and we are left with a powerful denouement. It’s refreshing to find a film so aware of itself. We started with something akin to John Hughes, we end more in the region of Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir.

VIDEO

Kasper Tuxen’s beautiful cinematography is sharp and bright, throughout various locations and times of day. It is a strikingly warm film.

AUDIO

It’s an ambitious film, not so much in the soundtrack for the most part, but when there is an opportunity to stretch, the space is filled. That fabulous scene in the city at night envelopes Julie in environmental sounds. The later more fantastical moments are punchy and the contemporary score feels fresh and modern.

EXTRA FEATURES

Q&A with Renate Reinsve
Behind the Scenes
Gaupe comic gallery

The Worst Person in the World (Verdens verste menneske)
Film
Disc/Package
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