A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A lust for life and the bravery to try new things are celebrated, though the unsettling nature of constant change is also acknowledged. Being true to yourself is more important than fitting in with outside expectations.
Positive Role Models
Julie is smart and independent, showing bravery and curiosity in seeking self-knowledge and new experiences. Sometimes her behavior can be selfish and without consideration of consequences, such as gatecrashing parties and making up lies. Her mother is shown to be caring and accepting, though her father is mostly absent and puts the needs of his new family before her own.
The main character is female and is complex and flawed, yet likable. All main characters are White and middle class. A secondary character discovers they have Sami heritage and there is passing mention of indigenous people, though represented through tradition and ritual. Flippant reference is made to people with "borderline eating disorders." The main character's family unit consists of divorced parents, with the father having remarried and started a new family, which he prioritizes over his children from his first marriage.
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Violence & Scariness
A corpse is cut open in a medical setting, but the incision itself isn't shown. A character accidentally smashes their head on a lamp and there is blood from the cut. There is passing mention of prostate cancer, and later a character is diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer, involving scenes in a bedroom with medical equipment. A woman pulls out a used tampon, smears blood on her cheeks and throws it at someone. An animation shows a character eating a baby in a hotdog bun. Blood in the shower implies a miscarriage. Incest and rape are mentioned in passing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Nudity is shown on a number of occasions -- including full frontal male nudity and topless female nudity. Sexual intercourse and oral sex are portrayed on-screen. There is passing mention of female orgasm, premature ejaculation, anal sex, incest, rape, and the #MeToo movement.
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Occasional language includes "f--k," "f---ing," "s--t," "ass," "d--k," "mouth-f--ked," and "whore."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink wine, beer, and shots and there is mild intoxication at gatherings. Smoking. Characters take magic mushrooms, with extended scenes of hallucinations.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Worst Person in the World is an explicit Norwegian comedy drama (with English subtitles) that brilliantly bends the rules of the genre in a smart, original way. The movie follows the life of twentysomething Julie (Renate Reinsve) as she navigates her way through life and various relationships. It deals with adult themes and sexual acts -- both intercourse and oral sex -- are portrayed on-screen, including full-frontal nudity. Occasional strong language includes "f--k," and "s--t," while sex is discussed in graphic detail. A character is diagnosed with terminal cancer, and there are scenes involving medical equipment. Alcohol is consumed regularly and there is an extended hallucination following the consumption of magic mushrooms. The film deals with complex and existential issues that, together with the adult themes, make it unsuitable for younger viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Occasionally a film comes along that captures hearts and minds in a fresh, honest way, that far surpasses expectations. The Worst Person in the World is just such a movie, having already won an array of awards and two Oscar nominations. Why the big splash for a seemingly breezy Norwegian drama? It's the film's ability to get to some kind of universal truth about the very essence of being. Whether viewers are in their 20s, or have a fading memory of that transitional time, it's a film that invites almost everyone to relate and connect in an intimate way. The main character, Julie, is that rare complex female, who is treated here as a being in her own right, rather than simply as a romantic lead. She is searching for her own truth and she doesn't yet have the answers, but never is she portrayed as broken or wrong. Reinsve is likable yet refreshingly unapologetic. She can be kind and fun, selfish, and thoughtless -- all aspects of her personality that are accepted, rather than judged.
There are some standout moments, including Julie spending an entire night with a man she just met, acknowledging an intense connection, finding an emotional intimacy, yet both maintaining a boundary that avoids cheating on their existing partners. Another sees the world around Julie pause as she runs through the streets to find the same man, a whimsical stolen moment where nothing else exists. A third-person voiceover gives the feel of a modern fairytale in places, though you won't find any moral scare-tactics here. Just a celebration of life and an acceptance of uncertainty as something infinitely more freeing than it could ever be scary.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.