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We are the Best!

October 16, 2014

We are the Best! (2013)
Director: Lukas Moodysson
Actors: Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne

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Synopsis: In 1980s Stockholm, three schoolgirls – all nominal ‘outsiders’ – join forces to form a female punk band…

Review: This sweet, compassionate drama about the burgeoning shoots of adolescent realisation in three young Swedish girls (as emblematised in their attempt to form an all-girl punk band) is a finely judged piece of cinema from Lukas Moodysson.

Befitting the plucky spirit and inherent gaucheness of his three protagonists, Moodysson keeps the scenario simple, avoiding the temptation to overly determine and politicise the story. Instead, We are the Best! is a gentle ode to female camaraderie and that precious time in a young person’s life (between approximately the ages of eleven to thirteen) where they’re on the cusp of teenage – and by extension, adult – concerns such as identity, sexuality and their general ‘ideological’ consciousness.

It’s nicely filmed as well by Moodysoon – it’s shot on handheld cameras and with natural light, and the acting – if not exactly improvised – looks like it was probably helped by having a close-knit, relaxed production ethos. Moodysson creates a great sense of place for his wintry Stockholm milieu, and I particularly liked the scene where the three girls go to meet a fellow young punk band in Solna (one of the girls jokes about this being out in the ‘suburbs’) and we get a feel for Swedish municipal housing and how just generally fricking freezing it all looks! (October 2014)

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