We Are the Best!

Movie Review #950

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Limited release on May 30, 2014. Internet release on June 20, 2014. Drama/Music. This film is not rated. Runs 102 minutes. A Swedish-Danish co-production. Written and directed by Lukas Moodysson. Comic book by Coco Moodysson. Cast: Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, and Liv Lemoyne.

JA, DU ÄR BÄST!

★★★★
By Alexander Diminiano

“We Are the Best!” (known as “Vi Är Bäst!” in its native country of Sweden) centers on two 13-year-old girls who refuse to believe that punk music is dead. It’s 1982, and they still dress like Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten. Behind their parents’ backs, they form a band between the two of them to create their own punk music. They write their first (and only) song, called “Hate the Sport”, inspired by their disapproval of their phys-ed teacher. They don’t have the slightest clue how to play a musical instrument, so they bring in a third member from their school to teach them. Even with such little musical experience, it’s only a matter of months before they have their first gig to perform “Hate the Sport”.

“We Are the Best!” features young characters who couldn’t be more optimistic about their improbable situations. That’s why this is such a delight to watch. The “rise to fame” formula is so palatable here when writer-director Lukas Moodysson puts us in the free-spirited mind of a 13-year-old. Yes, it is a formula, but he makes the most of it.

“We Are the Best!” is a great delight. Had this been made in America, it would have been a Wes Anderson movie. The dialogue is well-written and quirky, especially when it’s among the two leads. It looks at the beautiful amusement of the human spirit through seventh-graders, and it does that quite formidably. Bravo, Moodysson–and encore!

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