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Joachim Trier
Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, Herbert Nordrum
Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier
The chronicles of four years in the life of Julie, a young woman who navigates the troubled waters of her love life and struggles to find her career path.
Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Norwegian DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 128 min.
Price: $39.95
Release Date: 6/28/2022

• “Making The Worst Person In the World” Documentary
• “Frozen in Time” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Booklet


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The Worst Person In the World: Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 25, 2022)

To my surprise, 2021’s The Worst Person In the World isn’t a biography of me. Instead, the Norwegian nominee for Oscar’s Best International Feature follows a 20-something Oslo resident named Julie (Renate Reinsve).

As she pushes 30, Julie finds herself at a bit of an existential crisis. Like many in her age group, she faces the impending monotony of “adult life” with trepidation and wonders how to navigate these waters.

Across a span of four years, Julie copes with these issues. She goes through various romantic situations and tries to figure out who she really wants to be.

Boy, that sure does sound like a generic plot synopsis, doesn’t it? Given the movie’s scope, it seems about right, as Person doesn’t deliver the world’s most narrative-intensive experience.

Indeed, the film pursues a consciously episodic structure. It breaks into 12 “chapters” to cover various events in Julie’s life.

To some degree, this makes sense, as life really consists of a serious of events more than one coherent story. Person touches on important moments, with some more significant than others.

For much of the movie’s first half, this can feel too scattered and random. As noted, “scattered and random” resembles real life, but that doesn’t necessarily work for a two-hour film.

As Person runs, though, the threads start to tie together more obviously. It doesn’t violate its prior structure, so don’t expect the flick to suddenly “go Hollywood”, but Person does manage to connect dots so that the chapters fit by the finale.

That still doesn’t leave Person as a real A-to-B journey, but it ensures that the film doesn’t feel random. The movie really concentrates on Julie’s relationships with boyfriends Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie) and Eivind (Herbert Nordrum), and those notions link eventually.

No one should still expect a taut narrative, but I do appreciate the gentle manner the movie depicts Julie’s journey. While she clearly exists as a different person by the film’s end, Person doesn’t lay out contrived episodes to get her there.

Though sold as a mix of comedy and drama, the latter heavily dominates Person. That works fine, as the film doesn’t need a lot of laughs to succeed.

Person does occasionally play like parody, though. In particular, it can feel like a spoof of the Woody Allen frame via its depiction of pseudo-intellectual upper-middle class sorts.

Julie and company seem less insufferable than many Allen characters, though. Their level of self-entitlement can make it tough to relate to them, but they wind up as fairly engaging eventually.

The actors offer natural performances. We never get an especially clear picture of Julie as a person, but that seems to be the point, as the movie wants to leave her somewhere less cut and dried than the average cinematic exploration.

Did Person merit an Oscar nomination? Maybe, maybe not, but it nonetheless brings us a reasonably engaging character journey.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus B-

The Worst Person In the World appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie came with a pretty solid presentation.

Overall sharpness worked well. A few interiors seemed a smidgen soft, but these remained in the minority, so most of the flick felt accurate and precise.

No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws remained absent.

In terms of palette, the film opted largely for a mix of blues and strong ambers. These looked well-developed and full.

Blacks seemed dark and deep, while shadows were generally positive, despite some of that aforementioned softness. Expect a quality image here.

As for the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it seemed appropriate for a talky character drama like this. That meant the mix favored music and general atmosphere.

Some scenes opened up more than others primarily at parties, where the environment became pretty involving. A drug trip also broadened horizons a bit. Otherwise, we get general ambience and not much more.

Audio quality seemed good, with speech that appeared natural and distinctive. Effects lacked much to do but they came across as accurate and clear.

With a mix of score and source songs, music showed nice range and dimensionality. Again, nothing here impressed, but the soundtrack worked fine for the material.

A few extras flesh out the disc, and Making The Worst Person In the World runs 50 minutes, 18 seconds. It provides notes from writer/director Joachim Trier, writer Eskil Vogt, sound designer Gisle Tveito and actors Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, and Herbert Nordrum.

“Making” looks at Trier’s push into filmmaking and his collaboration with Vogt, the movie’s origins and development, story/character elements, cast and performances, Trier’s impact on the shoot, editing and audio design. “Making” becomes a deep, involving view of the flick’s creation.

Frozen In Time goes for 17 minutes, 34 seconds and offers notes from Trier and cinematographer Kasper Tuxen.

We get a look at one specific sequence in which “time stands still”. It offers another informative reel.

Four Deleted Scenes span a total of 11 minutes, four seconds. We get “Texting” (4:55), “Julie and Ingvild” (1:48), “Stealing” (1:03) and “Aksel’s Old Neighborhood” (3:18).

“Texting” provides a clever view of the post-breakup relationship between Julie and Aksel, but it runs too long to become truly effective. “Ingvild” spends too much time with a superfluous character.

“Stealing” gives us a little blip between Julie and Eivind, whilw “Neighborhood” elongates a late-in-film sequence. These seem moderately interesting but not essential.

Finally, the set concludes with a booklet. It brings credits, art and an essay from critic Sheila O'Malley. It completes the package in a positive manner.

As a coming of age story, The Worst Person in the World works sporadically, though more of it succeeds than sputters. While inconsistent, the film still paints a fairly compelling character tale. The Blu-ray comes with very good visuals as well as decent audio and a smattering of bonus materials. Expect a mostly involving drama.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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