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TV/Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘The Worst Person in the World’ (dir. Joachim Trier) | Sundance 2022

Trust the hype around this one. So much life is packed into these four years over a two-hour runtime that flies by, and it portrays that aimless feeling in life in such a painfully accurate way. I’m already ready to see this again.

The Worst Person in the World
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Director: Joachim Trier
Cast: Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum
Language: In Norwegian with English subtitles
Runtime: 127 minutes
Distributor: NEON
Release date: In theaters Friday, February 11

Trust the hype around this one. So much life is packed into these four years over a two-hour runtime that flies by, and it portrays that aimless feeling in life in such a painfully accurate way. I’m already ready to see this again.

There is such thoughtful meditation to this story, and the twelve-chapter structure is deeply affecting. It paces out these events without feeling rushed or bogging down at any point. Dropping in at some of the most troubling stages of our main character’s life, we see only the most important and key points of life. It can be jarring, but I also found that to be one of its most endearing qualities.

A character study that reads as so organic, each chapter peels back a new layer of this three-dimensional woman. The writing allows Reinsve’s character to navigate love and loss and everything in between while staying true to her own self-identity. It feels odd to call this a coming-of-age story when our main character is nearing thirty years of age, but it’s these moments that really helped her emerge as the woman she truly is.

This role is going to be what makes a star out of Renate Reinsve, and she is about to have so many scripts coming her way. She pulls off the portrayal of somebody you feel is just like you while simultaneously exuding all the energy of a seasoned veteran actress.

Anders Danielsen Lie is an actor that I, admittedly, have not seen in anything before, and that is about to change. His performance is riveting, and I felt the pain and struggle that he was portraying.

I can’t go without talking about Herbert Nordrum, either, because he was a highlight for me. Seeing how Reinsve’s character interacts with Danielsen Lie’s character compared to Nordrum’s character is what really made this movie succeed.

By completely blowing up what defines a rom-com, this film deconstructs love and all the complications that come with it in such a refreshing way that I have never seen done.

The soundtrack is incredible, and even though I couldn’t understand the words to several of the songs, I found that it didn’t even matter. Each song correctly captured the vibe and fit the atmosphere of every single moment. (Don’t worry, I have a Super Soundtrack piece coming soon featuring all of the songs in this incredible movie, so stay tuned for that).

Every so often a movie comes around that can truly be described as a rollercoaster of emotions, and The Worst Person in the World fits the bill. One moment is heartbreaking, the next hilarious, and then it rounds things out with a relatable moment.

Seeing all of my other friends who are journalists and film critics share their reactions for months before I was able to see this was somewhat painful for me. Obviously, there was jealousy that I was behind on seeing it, but more than that, I feared I wouldn’t like it as much as everyone else. Luckily, there was no problem there because the film lived up to — no, it exceeded — every expectation. The acting, the screenplay, the cinematography, the score, the editing, the humor, the heartbreak… it all works. So well. This was exactly what I wanted it to be and more.

Since having screened this film, The Worst Person in the World has received two Oscar nominations — one for Best International Film and another for Best Original Screenplay.

The Worst Person in the World screened during the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. It is now playing in select theaters. 

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