• Golden Globe Awards

The Worst Person in the World (Norway)

Julie (Renate Reinsve) is a confused woman in her 20s. She has had a hard time picking her career path when she meets a 15-year older guy, the graphic novelist Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie) and falls in love with him. They move in together, start a life together, but Julie is not quite satisfied and longs for something more.
“My dream was to try to make a film about big subjects,” says director Joachim Trier about his film The Worst Person in the World. “I wanted to make an epic story of someone’s life, but quite a normal life. Small events and nothing super dramatic.”
The film does exactly that: It deals with the small moments in Julie’s life that do, however, become epic in her life. It follows Julie as she discovers that the age difference between Aksel and her is an issue and that they are at different stages in their lives – and different career paths – which makes it hard for them to have a solid relationship. When socializing with Aksel’s friends, who have families, it is obvious that he wants kids and she doesn’t. Yet. She decides to leave him.
“I don’t know how many breakup scenes I’m doing in my life as a filmmaker,” says Joachim Trier about some pivotal scenes in the film. “So, when I do a big breakup scene in the middle of the film, it mattered to me that it had a sense of stages of emotional development and authenticity.”
As Julie longs for excitement in life and Aksel longs for stability, their relationship ends when she meets a younger man, Eivind (Herbert Nordrum), and starts a relationship with him. However, this relationship is not meant to be either and Julie beats herself up over her failure to make it work.
“Are you sure it’s Julie, that’s the worst person in the world?” says Joachim Trier about the title of the film and who it refers to. “I think that all of them feel like they’re the worst person in the world. It’s meant as a self-deprecating statement. In Norway, we say: “I failed on a personal level. I feel like the worst person in the world.” It’s not meant as a judgment on anyone. I feel that the film also falls on the side of sympathy with her not wanting to have a kid, which I can relate to.”
The Norwegian director is known for films such as the psychodramas Oslo, August 31st (2011) and Reprise (2006) as well as the horror film Thelma (2017) and the English language film Louder than Bombs (2015). His fifth film The Worst Person in the World premiered at the Cannes film festival, where Renate Reinsve won as Best Actress.
“The film is written for Renate,” says Joachim Trier. “She played a small part in Olso, August 31st.” She had one line of dialogue, which was something like, “Let’s go to the party” or something. And I felt she was a brilliant actor. Ten years later, I wrote this for her, because she’s quite remarkable.”