Norwegian film nominated for Oscars

The Worst Person in the World seen as strong contender

Renate Reinsve

Photo: Javad Parsa / NTB
Actress Renate Reinsve was all smiles after she heard the news that The Worst Person in the World had been nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.

Norwegian Film Institute

Joachim Trier’s award-winning cinema success The Worst Person in the World (Verdens verste menneske) has received Oscar nominations in the categories Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay.

“Amazing, two nominations for Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World … This is the result of hard work by filmmakers, actors, producers, distributors, and other important supporters. We are a big step closer to an Oscar for a Norwegian film and a Norwegian original screenplay, which is written by Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier. It has been a wonderful journey for everyone involved: from the World Premiere in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, actress award to Renate Reinsve to great admissions both in Norway and internationally, weekly international nominations and awards as well as touring at festivals. All the attention and now—the two Oscar nominations put not only The Worst Person in the World but also Norwegian films in general on the world map. We keep our fingers crossed and hope for not only one, but two, Oscar statues at the award ceremony on March 27,” said Kjersti Mo, CEO of the Norwegian Film Institute.

Best US opening ever for a Norwegian film

Neon acquired the American rights to the Norwegian drama from Joachim Trier The Worst Person in the World after the world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021. In recent months, Trier, Reinsve, and everyone behind the film have worked intensely and purposefully together with Neon for today’s Oscar nominations.

On Feb. 4, The Worst Person in the World opened in U.S. cinemas, with screenings in New York City and Los Angeles. The film had the highest purchase and sale agreement for any film of 2022 and the third-highest for any film of 2021 after Licorice Pizza and Spider-Man: No Way Home. The film made $135,042 at four NYC/LA theaters with a per-screen average of $33,768, making it the best opening for a Norwegian film ever in the United States.

French and British nominations

Nearly 220,000 French people have already seen the The Worst Person in the World in cinemas, and it has been nominated for the French national film award César in the category for best foreign film. The awards ceremony is set to take place on Feb.  25.

The film has also been nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Non-English Film. In addition, Renate Reinsve is nominated for best actress. The British Film Awards will be presented on March 13 at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

About The Worst Person in the World

The screenplay is written by Eskil Vogt and Joachim Trier. Joachim Trier’s third film in the Oslo trilogy after Reprise and Oslo August 31 is a melancholic comedy about love in our time. In the main roles we find Renate Reinsve, Anders Danielsen Lie, and Herbert Nordrum.

Producers are Thomas Robsahm and Andrea Berentsen Ottmar for Oslo Pictures. The Norwegian premiere was on Oct. 15, 2021, and it has so far been seen by more than 230,000 people in Norway. The Norwegian distributor is SF Studios. The international sales agent is the French company MK2 and the American distributor is Neon.

The Norwegian Film Institute has contributed with a total of 60,000 Euros in support for the film’s Oscar campaign, in addition to 3.6 millions Euros in production and distribution grants.

Oscar nominations for Norwegian minority co-productions

The Danish animation film Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen) was nominated in the categories Animated Feature Film, Feature Documentary as well as International Feature Film. Flee is co-produced with Norwegian Maria Ekerhovd for Mer Film with co-production support from the Norwegian Film Institute. The Indian film, Writing with Fire (Rintu Thomas & Sushmit Ghosh), co-produced with Tone Grøttjord-Glenne for Sant & Usant is also nominated in the category Feature Documentary and has received production support from the Norwegian SØRFOND.

Academy members voting

Academy members from each of the 17 branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc. In the Animated Feature Film and International Feature Film categories, nominees are selected by a vote of multi–branch screening committees. All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees. This year, the Academy saw its highest ever voter participation in the organization’s history, with members submitting ballots from 82 countries.

Active members of the Academy are eligible to vote for the winners in all 23 categories beginning March 17, through March 22.

The 94th Oscars will be held on March 27, 2022, at the Dolby® Theatre at Hollywood & Highland® in Hollywood and will be televised live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and in more than 200 territories worldwide.

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 18, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.