‘Worst Person’ building buzz as a must-see, best movie

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‘Worst Person’ building buzz as a must-see, best movie
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How – and why! — did “The Worst Person in the World,” a Norwegian language, existential drama, become a buzzed about movie, Oscar contender and, most remarkably, launch a complete unknown into international stardom?

“We are asking the same question,” said director and co-writer Joachim Trier, 47, in impeccable English on a Zoom call.

“First, we’re very grateful to people in several countries. It’s been a smash hit in Scandinavia, in France and around Europe. Now, we’re hoping Americans will also perhaps watch this small film.”

Director Joachim Trier poses for photographers at the photo call for the film ‘The Worst Person in The World’ at the 74th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, July 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

People, he’s discovered, “identify with a lot of it. We’re going through a time where people are feeling confused. Many people have suddenly isolated themselves or had to break from their life and suddenly gone into this more existential perspective of, ‘Wow! What do I really want when I get back out there?’

“Yes,” he added, “it’s a romantic comedy (on the outset). But it’s also an existential questioning by Renate’s character Julie who’s going through this idea of: Am I really as free as I think in choosing my identity? Or are there already limitations to who I can be? And why am I feeling some pressure to be something so special and wonderful? Maybe I want to just accept that things are chaotic.

“A lot of people are asking themselves that and my feeling is that people are identifying with that ambivalence Julie’s going through.”

Renate Reinsva (RAINZ-va), 34, was literally about to abandon acting when Trier, who had become a friend after she had just two lines in one of his earlier movies, offered her Julie, a woman who is exploring life and love.

Was she really about to quit the business?

“I had this big moment where really it was a big decision,” she said via Zoom from L.A.

Trier’s offer — he wrote the script with his partner specifically for her — “was the complete opposite of why I wanted to quit. The way he makes movies, the way he directs, I just admire him so much. So I couldn’t say no to that. This has of course blown up now.”

Now a Best Actress BAFTA nominee, Reinsva sees “Worst Person,” “touching on so many things. I felt so involved and moved by the way he talks about love and loss, identity and choosing what to do in life and who to be with.

“The way he directs is that we ask questions, we don’t give the answers. And now we all can talk about these big existential questions with this movie with the audience. It’s fantastic.”


“The Worst Person in the World” opens Friday at the Coolidge Corner and Kendall Square theaters. 

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