Why The Worst Person In The World is the film everyone's talking about

Described as the "Norwegian Fleabag", the Oscar-nominated film is a surprise breakout hit this awards season. 
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Oslo Pictures / NEON

The Worst Person In The World is the film about to be promoted to the top of your pre-Oscars “to watch” list – and for good reason. 

Hailed as Norway's answer to Fleabag, it's clearing up at awards season – lead actor Renate Reinsve won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her starring role, while the film has been awarded for two Academy Awards (Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature Film) at the upcoming Oscars. 

Oslo Pictures / NEON

With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 96%, we can gauge that it's going to be a hit with audiences when it lands in the UK later this month (more on that later). It's also been praised by Richard Curtis, who called it “a complete masterpiece” in a recent interview with Neon, the film's distributor. And yes, there's a 70% chance anyone you watch it with will make the terrible joke, “Oh look, they made a film about you…!”. But don't let that deter you.


So what's it about? The Worst Person In The World is a dark, romantic “dramedy” (that's drama-comedy) about a 29-year-old medical student, Julie, based in Oslo, who's turning the big 3-0, and having a quarter– well, third – life crisis in the process, questioning her romantic and professional situation. Oh, we've been there.

It's set over four years of Julie's life, and chronicles how her sense of existential crisis leads to her breaking up with her boyfriend, changing career course and just generally exploring her life options, all the while navigating her estrangement from her father.

Picasa/ Oslo Pictures / NEON
Oslo Pictures / NEON

Julie, played by Renate Reinsve, is the perfect anti-heroine. In the official trailer, a voiceover narrates “Julie was wondering when life was about to start”, a premise that has us hooked. It's is a film about an unlikeable and yet highly relatable heroine navigating the obstacles of emerging adulthood – i.e. the part where you're meant to get your sh*t together and, you know what? You just don't want to. 

It's the third instalment in Norwegian filmmaker's Joachim Trier's “Oslo Trilogy”, a series of loosely related films around the themes of relatively young characters fighting against time to lead a fulfilled life, who are all somewhat treading water rather than committing to making ultimate decisions about the next steps of their lives. The first, Reprise (2006), centres around two young writers and their best friends trying to evaluate their artistic potential, while the second, Oslo, August 31st, features a protagonist in his early thirties who is feeling isolated

Oslo Pictures / NEON

The trilogy chronicles what Indie Wire has termed the “Os-loneliness” of ambition; “They are all quite self-doubting people,” director Trier told the publication. “There’s a sense of ambition or failed ambition, and insecurity about how to create purpose and meaning in their lives while feeling stressed by a tremendous sense of expectation.”


The lead part of Julie is played by Norwegian actor Renate Reinsve (who, at 34, had vowed to give up acting before gaining this breakout part). Other leading roles are played by Anders Danielson, who plays Julie's artist boyfriend Aksel, and Herbert Nordrum, who plays another love interest, Eivind. 

Oslo Pictures / NEON

You can watch The Worst Person in the World trailer now

For a hint at just why this film is proving so popular, you just have to check out the trailer, which is available to watch now and clocks in at just under two minutes long. 

It features snogs-a-plenty with different love interests, beeeautiful city and rural scenes of Oslo and dramatic shots of Julie running through the streets looking like she's about to make a dramatic life-changing decision. We're here for it. 


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The Worst Person In The World comes to UK cinemas on Friday 25 March 2022.