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We Are the Best!
Vi är bäst!
★★★☆☆
First run Theater cinema

We Are the Best! tells a Swedish, pre-teen, post-punk, coming-of-age tale that is true to all those labels. The 1982 Stockholm-set story of three twelve-year-old misfit girls who start a punk band and weather the ups and downs of young adolescence together feels both genuinely punk rock and authentically twelve-year old. I can’t say this combination makes for an entirely enjoyable 102 minutes (I found the middle section a bit tedious) but the film wins on the strength and veracity of its three young leads and its highly satisfying conclusion. Writer/Director Lukas Moodysson (Show Me Love, A Hole in My Heart, Mammoth), working from the graphic novel memoir Never Goodnight by his wife Coco Moodysson, gets note-perfect performances from his young cast. Newcomers Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, and Liv LeMoyne have the kind of fresh, spontaneous, and unmannered approach to acting that can make or break a film that is more concerned with capturing behavior and attitude than with narrative complexity. The raw energy of the girls and the rebellious nature of their music are captivating. Their main song, “Hate Sport,” exhibits all of the messy, tone-deaf, off-putting qualities of amateur musicians, yet was so catchy I kept hoping they would play it again and again. The movie is very much a cinematic incarnation of that punk rock ideal. 

Directed by Lukas Moodysson
Produced by Lars Jönsson

Screenplay by Lukas Moodysson
Based on the graphic novel by Coco Moodysson

With: Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne, Johan Liljemark, Mattias Wiberg, Jonathan Salomonsson, Alvin Strollo, Anna Rydgren, Peter Eriksson, Charlie Falk, Lena Carlsson, David Dencik, Emrik Ekholm, Ann-Sofie Rase, and Lily Moodysson

Cinematography: Ulf Brantås
Editing: Michal Leszczylowski

Runtime: 102 min
Release Date: 11 October 2013
Aspect Ratio: 1.85 : 1
Color