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Parents' Guide to

The Worst Person in the World

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Norwegian romantic drama has sex, language, drug use.

Movie R 2022 128 minutes
The Worst Person in the World poster

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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.

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