The Worst Person in the World movie poster
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The Worst Person in the World
The Worst Person in the World movie poster

The Worst Person in the World Movie Review

Is Julie the Worst Person in the World? Far from it, but that doesn’t stop her from navigating her life based on “selfish” decisions like not staying with men who love her, opting not to have children, and waffling between careers. Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World is a comedic but not quite funny examination of the choices we make, or don’t make, as we seek happiness.

Relying on a sharp screenplay co-written by Eskil Vogt and a spot-on performance by Renate Reinsve as Julie, The Worst Person in the World is an entertaining drama that follows the young woman through several phases of her life. Reinsve appears to relish in the role, thrusting herself at every scene with delight. The cast around her, notably Anders Danielsen Lie, is also excellent. 

IMDb lists The Worst Person in the World as a comedy, among other things, and several critics have noted how funny the movie is. The movie is certainly amusing, and Trier and Vogt’s exacting script is clever in the way it tells Julie’s story, but an outward comedy this is not. Go in expecting a comedy and you’ll be in trouble; look for a drama with a comedic undertone and you’ll discover one of the better movies of the year.

I typically don’t quote (let alone look at) other reviews in my reviews, but Peter Howell of the Toronto Star sums it up best: it’s “the romantic drama for people who hate romantic dramas.” It really is. The Worst Person in the World hews a little closer to real life, following the mistakes and indecisions and twists and turns most of us take as we progress in life. In that respect, are we all the worst person in the world? I’m certainly not convinced Julie is.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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