Joachim Trier

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Joachim Trier
Born (1974-03-01) 1 March 1974 (age 50)
Copenhagen, Denmark
NationalityNorwegian, Danish
Alma materNational Film and Television School
OccupationFilm director
Years active2006–present

Joachim Trier (Norwegian pronunciation: [ˈjùːɑˌkɪm ˈtɾìːəɾ]) (born 1 March 1974) is a Danish-born Norwegian filmmaker. His films have been described as "melancholy meditations concerned with existential questions of love, ambition, memory, and identity."[1] He has received numerous nominations including for a Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, two Cesar Awards, and three Cannes Film Festival Awards.

He is best known for his Oslo trilogy which comprises the films Reprise (2006), Oslo, August 31st (2011), The Worst Person in the World (2021). For the last film, he was nominated for the Best Original Screenplay at the 94th Academy Awards, with the film also nominated for Best International Feature. He is also known for directing Louder Than Bombs (2015), Thelma (2017), and the documentary The Other Munch (2018).

Early life and education[edit]

Trier was born in Denmark to Norwegian parents and raised in Oslo, Norway.[2] His father, Jacob Trier, was the sound technician of The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix, a notable film produced in Norway in 1975.[3] His grandfather was Erik Løchen, artistic director of Norsk Film from 1981 to 1983 and also a filmmaker and screenwriter known for such experimental work as his 1972 film Remonstrance, which was constructed so that its five reels could be shown in any order, rendering 120 possible versions of its radical story of a film crew trying to make a political film.[4]

As a teenager, Trier was a skateboarding champion who shot and produced his own skateboarding videos.[5] He studied at the European Film College in Ebeltoft, Denmark and at the National Film & Television School in the United Kingdom.[6]


2000–2006: Early work[edit]

Trier started his career writing and directing short films. His early short films include Pietà (2000) and Still (2001). After graduating from National Film and Television School Trier directed the short film Procter, a thriller revolving around a man who watches a suicide on a videotape and investigates the mystery surrounding the incident. The film premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival where he gained prominence winning the Best British Short Award. Ellen Margrethe Sand of Verdens Gang praised Trier writing, "[He] utilises the scarcely allotted time and his film medium to the last drop".[7] The short would also earn nominations for the European Film Award for Best Short Film and the Amanda Award in Norway.

Trier's debut film, Reprise, is about two aspiring writers and their volatile relationship.[8] Released by Miramax in 2006, it received Norway's top film awards, the Amanda Award and the Aamot Statuette.[9][10] Internationally, it won prizes at film festivals in Toronto, Istanbul, Rotterdam, Milan, and Karlovy Vary.[11] Trier was named one of Variety's "10 Directors to Watch" in 2007.[3]

2011–present: Breakthrough and acclaim[edit]

Trier gained prominence for his Norwegian drama film Oslo, August 31st (2011). His sophomore effort as a director, revolves around one day in the life of Anders (Anders Danielsen Lie), a recovering drug addict who catches up with old friends in Oslo. The film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.[12][13] The film is regarded as an adaptation of the Pierre Drieu La Rochelle novel Will O' the Wisp (1931) and Louis Malle's The Fire Within (1963).[8] It received critical acclaim and awards and was featured on several critics' 2012 Top 10 lists.[14][15] A.O. Scott of The New York Times declared it a "perfectly linear story that bristles with suspense and ambiguity".[16]

Trier was named as one of the jury members for the "Cinéfondation" and short-film sections of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.[17] In 2015, Trier directed the English-language film Louder Than Bombs, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, and Isabelle Huppert.[18] It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival[19] where it received positive reviews with acclaim for its leading performance from Huppert.[20] His fourth feature, the supernatural horror-romance Thelma, screened at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival to positive reviews.[21] Andrew Barber of Variety praised the film describing it as an, "unnervingly effective slow-burn, and those with the patience for Trier’s patient accumulation of detail will find it pays off in unexpected ways."[22] It was selected as the Norwegian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards, held in 2018.[23][24]

In 2018, he co-directed, with his brother, Emil, a 55-minute documentary, The Other Munch, featuring the writer Karl Ove Knausgård curating, with Kari Brandtzaerg,[25] To the Forest,[26][27] an exhibition of paintings by Edvard Munch at Oslo's Munch Museum.[28] Trier and Knausgård visit locations from Munch's life, discuss his works, themes, obsessions, and process. The Trier brothers connect Knausgård's unorthodox interpretation of Munch to Knausgård's literary works,[29][30][31][32] in a portrait of both artists.[33][34][35][36] Karl Ove Knausgård stated "When I was invited to curate the exhibition, I proposed that we make a film to coincide with it."[37] Also in 2018, Trier served as the Jury President of the Critics' Week section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.[38][39]

On July 7, 2021, The Worst Person in the World premiered to high acclaim competing for the Palme d'Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, where star Renate Reinsve won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress.[40][41][42] Jordan Mintzer of The Hollywood Reporter praised Trier's ability as a director writing "More than ever, Trier reveals how well he can keep shifting tones and emotional arcs without losing any narrative momentum."[43] The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film and Trier himself earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay at the 94th Academy Awards.[44][45]

Upcoming projects[edit]

In 2023 it was announced that Trier would reunite with actor Renate Reinsve for his next film, Sentimental Value, a family drama that is set to begin filming in Norway.[46]


In 2012, Trier participated in the Sight & Sound critics' poll where he listed his 10 favorite films in alphabetical order:[47]


Year Title Credited as Notes
Director Writer
2000 Pietà Yes Yes Short film
2001 Still Yes Yes
2002 Procter Yes Yes
2006 Reprise Yes Yes
2011 Oslo, August 31st Yes Yes
2015 Louder Than Bombs Yes Yes Also executive producer
2017 Thelma Yes Yes
2018 The Other Munch Yes No Documentary film; Co-directed with Emil Trier.
2021 The Worst Person in the World Yes Yes Nominated—Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
TBA Sentimental Value Yes Yes

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2008 New York Film Critics Circle Best First Film Reprise Nominated
2013 Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard Oslo, August 31 Nominated
2013 Cesar Award Best Foreign Film Nominated
2015 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Louder Than Bombs Nominated
2021 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or The Worst Person in the World Nominated
2021 Cesar Award Best Foreign Film Nominated
2021 Academy Award Best Original Screenplay Nominated
2021 BAFTA Award Best Film Not in the English Language Nominated
2021 British Independent Film Award Best International Independent Film Won


  1. ^ Weston, Hillary. "The Art Form of Memory: A Conversation with Joachim Trier". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  2. ^ kort og godt fra Dagbladet (22.11.2002)
  3. ^ a b "Biography". RSA Films. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  4. ^ Abbasov, Jasmine (13 January 2022). "The Oslo Trilogy, with Joachim Trier, Anders Danielsen Lie, and Renate Reinsve". Film at Lincoln Center. Retrieved 20 January 2022.
  5. ^ Tinkham, Chris (2 May 2008). "Joachim Trier". Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  6. ^ Stabenfeldt, Fredrik. "Former EFC-student - now critically acclaimed director". European Film College. Archived from the original on 3 November 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  7. ^ Sand, Ellen Margrethe (22 November 2002). "Perler på en snor". Verdens Gang (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 April 2015. et fortettet og foruroligende drama. Trier utnytter den knapt tilmålte tid og sitt filmmedium til siste dråpe. Uten et bilde, langt mindre et ord - for mye.
  8. ^ a b Weston, Hillary. "Cinematic Panic: The Quiet Allure of Joachim Trier's 'Oslo, August 31st'". Black Book. Archived from the original on 11 May 2013. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  9. ^ Svendsen, Trond Olav. "Amandaprisen". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  10. ^ Svendsen, Trond Olav. "Aamotstatuetten". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  11. ^ Langlo, Jan. Amås, Knut Olav (ed.). Hvem er hvem? (in Norwegian). Oslo: Aschehoug. pp. 599–600.
  12. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Official Selection". Cannes. Archived from the original on 15 May 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  13. ^ "Cannes film festival 2011: The full lineup". London. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  14. ^ "2012 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Archived from the original on 11 May 2018. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Best of 2012". Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  16. ^ Scott, A. o. (25 May 2012). "Temptation Dominates the Road to Recovery". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  17. ^ "The 2014 Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury". Archived from the original on 10 October 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  18. ^ Jankiewicz, Eric (21 August 2014). "Movie starring Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne begins film preparations in Bayside". Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  19. ^ "2015 Official Selection". Cannes. Archived from the original on 18 April 2015. Retrieved 16 April 2015.
  20. ^ Back Home (2015), retrieved 15 July 2021
  21. ^ "Toronto Film Festival 2017 Unveils Strong Slate". Deadline. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Film Review Thelma". Variety. 15 September 2017. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  23. ^ ""Thelma" blir den norske Oscar-kandidaten". NRK. 6 September 2017. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  24. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (6 September 2017). "Joachim Trier's 'Thema' Chosen by Norway to Run for Foreign-Language Oscar Nomination". Variety. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  25. ^ Martinez, Alanna (4 May 2017). "Karl Ove Knausgaard Is an Art Curator Now". The New York Observer. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  26. ^ "TOWARDS THE FOREST – KNAUSGÅRD ON MUNCH". Munch Museum. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  27. ^ Lund, Christian (November 2019). "Karl Ove Knausgård Interview: The Other Side of Edvard Munch". Louisiana Channel. Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 23 March 2022 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ Haakon (25 September 2018). "The Other Munch". The Royal House of Norway. Retrieved 23 March 2022. Speech given by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince before the screening of the documentary 'The Other Munch' at Lincoln Center, New York
  29. ^ Upshaw, Reagan (28 March 2019). "Review | Karl Ove Knausgaard turns his attention to Edvard Munch: 'So Much Longing in So Little Space,' by Karl Ove Knausgaard book review". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  30. ^ Hustvedt, Siri (1 May 2019). "Karl Ove Knausgaard Reflects on the Man Who Gave Us 'The Scream'". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  31. ^ Knausgård, Karl Ove (2019). So much longing in so little space : the art of Edvard Munch. New York. ISBN 978-1-4735-5546-4. Translated from the Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  32. ^ Meloni, Christine Foster (8 October 2020). "Karl Ove Knausgaard as art historian". The Norwegian American. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  33. ^ Lumholdt, Jan (11 July 2021). "Joachim Trier • Director of The Worst Person in the World". Cineuropa. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  34. ^ "The Other Munch". Film at Lincoln Center. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  35. ^ "#195 - Karl Ove Knausgaard, Emil Trier & Joachim Trier". SoundCloud. Film Society of Lincoln Center. 26 September 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2022. Karl Ove Knausgaard and Emil & Joachim Trier discuss their new film THE OTHER MUNCH
  36. ^ "The Other Munch: Extended Discussion with Writer Karl Ove Knausgaard and Directors Emil & Joachim Trier". 25 September 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  37. ^ Chang, Kee (28 September 2018). "Q&A with Karl Ove Knausgård". Anthem Magazine. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  38. ^ "Norwegian director Joachim Trier, Jury President of the 57th Semaine de la Critique | La Semaine de la Critique of Festival de Cannes". Semaine de la Critique du Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  39. ^ "Norwegian director Joachim Trier, Jury President of the 57th Semaine de la Critique | La Semaine de la Critique of Festival de Cannes". Semaine de la Critique du Festival de Cannes. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  40. ^ "Meet the team from the film Verdens Verste Menneske (The Worst Person in the World) by Joachim Trier". Festival de Cannes 2021. 9 July 2021. Archived from the original on 15 July 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  41. ^ Lawson, Richard (10 July 2021). "'The Worst Person in the World' Is the Best Film at Cannes So Far". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  42. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (8 July 2021). "The Worst Person in the World review – Nordic romcom is an instant classic". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  43. ^ "'The Worst Person in the World': Film Review - Cannes 2021". The Hollywood Reporter. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  44. ^ "Worst Person In The World Heads To Oscars For Norway". Nordic Drama. 25 October 2021. Retrieved 25 October 2021.
  45. ^ Davis, Clayton (21 December 2021). "Oscars Shortlists Include Beyoncé, 'Spider-Man' and Two Jonny Greenwood Scores as France's 'Titane' Is Snubbed". Variety. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  46. ^ "Joachim Trier Sets Next Film 'Sentimental Value,' a Father-Daughter Drama With 'Worst Person in the World' Star Renate Reinsve". Variety. 18 September 2023. Retrieved 18 September 2023.
  47. ^ "Joachim Trier". BFI. Archived from the original on 13 April 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2022.

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