The Worst Person in the World


David Mudd

Is The Worst Person in the World About a Concept or a Character?

Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World (Norwegian: Verdens verste menneske). It is a 2021 romantic black comedy-drama film.  The film is the third installment of the director’s “Oslo Trilogy,” following Reprise (2006) and Oslo, 31 August (2011). It premiered in competition at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. This is where Renate Reinsve won Best Actress for her performance.  The film was nominated for Best International Feature Film. And Best Original Screenplay at the 94th Academy Awards. Ola Flttum composed the score for the picture.

Prologue of The Worst Person in the World

Julie is a medical student in Oslo who, after having an epiphany. She chooses to study psychology and terminate her relationship. Julie subsequently develops a relationship with one of her instructors. She chooses to become a photographer after browsing through her phone’s camera roll. Julie meets Aksel Willman, an accomplished comic artist fifteen years her senior. While out with her next lover, a model. Despite their age difference, the two hit it off and start dating.

The Others (Chapter 1)

Julie, who is now dabbling in writing, spends the weekend at Aksel’s parents’ house. Aksel suggests creating a family for Julie. But Julie says she isn’t ready and doesn’t know when she will be. Especially after witnessing Aksel’s niece throwing a tantrum. Later, a drunken party ends in tragedy when Aksel’s brother’s wife is hit in the head with a lamp. Further results in a furious argument that Aksel and Julie overhear. The next morning, however, Julie witnesses the couple reunite. As well as Aksel coloring with his nephews.

Cheating (Chapter 2)

Julie crashes a wedding celebration and meets Eivind. A barista is on her way home after a publishing event for Aksel. Despite the fact that they are both in relationships. They spend the entire night together, exchanging intimate details but never straying on their significant others. They merely exchange first names and have no plans to meet again.

Chapter 3: Oral Sex in the #MeToo Era

Julie publishes a blog on feminism and oral sex. Aksel is impressed and encourages her to upload it online. This is where it will gain attention.

The Worst Person in the World

Our Own Family (Chapter 4)

Julie’s 30th birthday is celebrated at her divorced mother’s house. Along with Aksel and Julie’s grandmother. Julie’s estranged father is unable to attend due to a back injury. Julie and Aksel pay a visit to her father a few days later. She inquires if he has read her piece, to which he responds that he was unable to access the link. Julie’s adolescent half-sister unintentionally confesses. That Julie’s father was watching her play in a football competition on her birthday. He creates reasons to turn down Aksel’s offer to come to Oslo and see him and Julie. Aksel tells Julie on the drive home that she needs to start her own family.

Chapter 5: Inadequate Timing

Julie meets Eivind and his girlfriend Sunniva while working at a bookshop. Sunniva waits outside as Julie and Eivind converse. While eating dinner with Aksel’s brother and sister-in-law. Aksel laments about the film version of his comic strip Bobcat.

It is in which his politically incorrect series is transformed into a family-friendly Christmas picture. Further results in a full monologue that leaves Julie bored and ignored. Julie, who is disillusioned, thinks of going on a date with Eivind and falling in love with him. As a result, she ends her relationship with Aksel, although they have sex one final time before she leaves his apartment. With further implies that they could reconnect at some point.

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Finnmark Highlands (Chapter 6)

The film depicts the history of Eivind and Sunniva’s romance. Sunniva is motivated to study her lineage after a near brush with a reindeer while on a camping vacation, which reveals that she is 3.1 percent Sámi. As a result, she becomes a passionate advocate for climate change and indigenous peoples’ rights. Eivind becomes dissatisfied with their confined lifestyle, at which time he meets Julie at the bookshop.

Chapter 7: The Beginning of a New Chapter

Julie and Eivind decide to live together. Despite the fact that he has already broken up with Sunniva, he still follows her on Instagram, which Julie finds amusing.

Julie’s Narcissistic Circus (Chapter 8)

Eivind throws a modest party during which one of his friends discovers Eivind’s stash of psychoactive mushrooms. After consuming them, Julie sees herself completely naked, older, and with a child at her breast; she feels vulnerable in the presence of all her former lovers, including Bobcat, who eats her child in a hot dog; she then sees her father sitting on a couch, and she sits angrily in front of him, throwing her bloodied tampon. When she stands up, she discovers she has left a shambles in Eivind’s flat. The next night, she tells Eivind that she can be herself with him, but he dismisses her assertions.

Bobcat Wrecks Xmas in Chapter 9

Julie watches an NRK TV interview in which Aksel defends his Bobcat comics against a feminist critique while working out at the gym. When the presenter accuses his comics of being sexist, Aksel defends his work vehemently.

The Worst Person in the World

First Person Singular (Chapter 10)

Aksel’s brother runs into Julie at work and informs her that Aksel has terminal pancreatic cancer. Later on, Eivind stumbles upon a short fiction Julie wrote. When he believes it is based on her real-world experiences, Julie fiercely rejects it and accuses him of being content with never having accomplished anything in his life.

Positives in Chapter 11

Julie discovers she is pregnant but waits to inform Eivind. She pays a visit to Aksel in the hospital and they talk about their life apart. Aksel expresses his sadness at the idea of no longer having a future, and Julie reveals that she is pregnant. Despite his assurances that she would make an excellent mother, she is hesitant if she wants to retain the child. When Julie returns home, she eventually informs Eivind about her pregnancy, and they decide to split up while she decides whether or not to keep the kid.

Everything Comes to an End in Chapter 12

Aksel invites Julie to his childhood home, where he was inspired to become an artist. He tells her that he hopes he could continue to live with her rather than only exist as a memory. She subsequently receives a message from Aksel’s brother informing her that his condition has deteriorated and that he would most likely not survive the night. She walks the streets of Oslo, unhappily, and watches the sunrise the next morning. Julie miscarries while bathing.

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Epilogue of The Worst Person in the World

Julie is working as an on-set photographer on a film shoot some time later. She pictures an actress and then sees the actress outdoors with Eivind and a baby through a window. She goes home to edit the images from the day.

Release of The Worst Person in the World

MK2 Films has an agreement to sell the film in February 2021. On July 7, 2021, the film had its global debut in contention for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. A week later, the film’s US distribution rights were sold to Neon, while Mubi purchased the rights to India, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. The Worst Person in the World had its North American premiere as a Gala Presentation at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival on September 11th. The film was distributed theatrically in France by Memento Distribution on October 13, 2021, in Norway by SF Studios on October 15, 2021, and in Sweden by TriArt Film on November 19, 2021.

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Reception of The Worst Person in the World

Rotten Tomatoes reports that 96 percent of 196 critic reviews are favourable, with an average rating of 8.6/10. According to the website, “The Worst Person in the World” finishes Joachim Trier’s Oslo Trilogy with a romantic comedy that hilariously subverts the genre’s well-worn conventions. According to Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film received a score of 90 out of 100 from 41 reviewers, signifying “universal acclaim.”


Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian called the film “one of Cannes’ greatest” and a “instant classic.” Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson described it as “exquisite, wistful (and plain sorrowful).” The Worst Person in the World was named the greatest film of 2021 by Vanity Fair and The Atlantic.