Review: 'The Worst Person In The World' is Joachim Trier's Finest Work

by Greg Vellante

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday July 1, 2022

Review: 'The Worst Person In The World' is Joachim Trier's Finest Work

Last year, director Joachim Trier delivered one of great coming-of-age films not just of that year, but of perhaps all time.

When one things of that phrase, "coming of age," they often think about teenage dramas set within the formative years of middle school, high school, or college. But what about your late 20s and early 30s? In "The Worst Person in the World," we're introduced to a young woman named Julie as she balances relationships and personal fulfillment in these uniquely formative years.

Trier's excellently executed narrative tells its heroine's story in a prologue, 12 chapters, and an epilogue, and through this structure it envisions an exceptionally rich world of feeling, characterization, and storytelling. It cuts straight to the center of our innermost struggles. Who am I? What is my story? How do I fit into other stories? And how do all these people fit into mine?

Questionable career decisions and misguided ambitions. The dilemma of whether or not to have kids. Oral sex. Tripping shrooms. Painful confrontations. The honest discussions and empathetically textured designs of Trier's story design and character development help create one of his finest works to date, and it is considered the third entry of his "Oslo Trilogy" following "Reprise" (2006) and "Oslo, August 31" (2011). As Julie, Renate Reinsve is simply astounding, embodying such a relatable struggle of trying to find who you are without fucking up the existential trajectories of those around you. As such, she won the Best Actress prize at Cannes for this revelatory performance.

The film rightfully has joined the esteemed Criterion Collection, and it's awesome that such a fine recent work of international cinema has made its way to this physical media darling so quickly. The rapid turnaround limits the bonus features a bit, as there are only a handful of interviews, some behind-the-scenes footage, and deleted scenes. But for an endlessly humorous and curiously moving such as this, it's definitely worth it. Plus, it's one of the coolest cover designs (illustrated by Bendik Kaltenborn) that Criterion has done in some time.

"The Worst Person in the World" is now available from The Criterion Collection on Blu-ray for the suggested retail price of $31.96