Set in Sweden in 1982 We Are The Best tells the unlikely story of a pre-teen punk band. Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are keen to prove to the world that punk is not dead and create a revolution through a song insulting school sport. Their intentions and ambitions are so much bigger than themselves but, undeterred, they recruit the slightly older Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) to teach them guitar and join their punk vision. All three give lively and heart-warming performances and are so much fun to watch, although, by an odd quirk of make-up, Hedvig does appear to be at least four years older than her companions.
In fact, the whole film is purely fun. The script is genuinely funny and leaves you with a buoyant, joyous appreciation of life. No, they are not going to be world-famous musicians, nor are they going to find true love in the neighbouring male punk band but they have probably made lifelong friends. The problems and fights they have seem comically small and petty to an adult audience but you only have to cast your mind back to your own memories to find the ring of truth in this film.
Moodysson doesn’t shy away from the intensity of emotion which meets every twist and turn of the girls’ lives. Quite on the contrary he revels in it, turning it from juvenile melodrama into a true examination of delicate youthful emotions. This delicacy is reflected in the cinematography. The emotions play out in intimate close ups or isolating wide shots, both as equally well-framed and sensitively shot. Every molehill is a mountain at the age of 13 and it’s this high-strung drama which drives the film. You can’t help but engage with these characters when the stakes seem so high and they care so much.
It is a bold decision in the current film market to make an unashamedly happy piece of arthouse cinema but Moodysson pulls this off with such style and aplomb. It seems like an oasis in the mire of death, illness and heartbreak. We Are The Best fills that niche market for a feel-good film that is beautiful to watch.
- Entertainment: 5/5
- Artistic: 4/5
- Intellectual: 4/5