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Movie review: ‘We Are the Best’

Based on the graphic novel by Coco Moodysson and directed by her husband Lukas Moodysson, We Are the Best! (original Swedish title Vi är bäst!) is an uplifting story of innocence, friendship and love that beautifully captures the hyperbolic agony and ecstasy of the early teen years. Stockholm, 1982. Two friends Klara and Bobo are maligned by their classmates in their high school cafeteria for their strange looks and punk rocker dress sense. To the girls' horror, their classmates tell them that punk is dead, though they can scarcely believe their ears. The girls don't fare much better in the school gymnasium where…

Review Overview

Overall Rating

Summary : An uplifting story of innocence, friendship and love.

User Rating: 4.65 ( 1 votes)
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Based on the graphic novel by Coco Moodysson and directed by her husband Lukas Moodysson, We Are the Best! (original Swedish title Vi är bäst!) is an uplifting story of innocence, friendship and love that beautifully captures the hyperbolic agony and ecstasy of the early teen years.

Stockholm, 1982. Two friends Klara and Bobo are maligned by their classmates in their high school cafeteria for their strange looks and punk rocker dress sense. To the girls’ horror, their classmates tell them that punk is dead, though they can scarcely believe their ears. The girls don’t fare much better in the school gymnasium where they are pulled off the teams and made to walk laps around the gym.

By virtue of their curiosity and precocity, the two pre-teens manage to steal a practice slot away from an actual band at the local community centre that afternoon. Armed with just a drum set and bass guitar, the two begin to pen their cacophonous punk anthem “Hatar sport!” (“Hate the Sport”).

Realising they might not actually have any talent, Klara and Bobo approach the talented yet outcast young musician Hedvig offering their friendship in return for music lessons.

Liv LeMoyne, Mira Barkhammar and Mira Grosin in We Are the Best

The best things about the film were in the depth of the three main characters and the fantastic acting from the three young actresses. Klara (Mira Grosin) shows startling insight into social issues and punk values and while earnest is certainly not naive. Grosin captured her inner strength and sense of justice perfectly. Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) is incredibly talented yet remarkably well adjusted given her level of ostracism prior to befriending Klara and Bobo. She is the voice of reason and mediation between the more fiery Klara and Bobo and ultimately proves to be the glue that keeps the three friends together. Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) is just wonderful in her insecurity, errors of judgement and absolute honesty. Barkhammar made me remember exactly what it was to look in the mirror and wish I was older, more confident and different looking.

We Are the Best! is certainly the most uplifting, enjoyable film I have seen this year and my only complaint was that it ended; I could easily have spent another hour or two with this hilarious group of teenagers. The film will be released in Swedish with English subtitles in the UK on 18 April 2014 and USA on limited release on 30 May 2014 following appearances at the Montclair and San Francisco International Film Festivals.

 

Photo credit: Per Anders Jorgensen.

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About Mandy Southgate

Mandy Southgate is a blogger, serial expat and eternal tourist living and working in London. Aside from writing at Blogcritics, she blogs about travel and London at Emm in London, entertainment and media at Addicted to Media and war crimes, genocide and social justice over at A Passion to Understand.
  • Dr Joseph S Maresca

    The punk rock theme is interesting because it stands in contrast to conformity at every turn.