We Are the Best! 

A scary, joyous act of rebellion

We Are the Best!
  • We Are the Best!

There are complicated ways to analyze Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best!, and then there is this: It’s hard to imagine another movie this year that will make me smile as hard as this movie did pretty much from start to finish.

Based on a semi-autobiographical graphic novel series by Moodysson’s wife, this almost indescribably charming tale takes us to 1982 Stockholm, where middle-school pals Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) find themselves somewhat outcast as devotees of punk rock in a world turned to New Wave. Then, at the local youth center, they find a bass and drum available for use in a rehearsal space. And despite having no musical experience at all, they decide to start a band, eventually accompanied by shy, Christian classmate Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne).

What follows is largely episodic, following the girls on misadventures both specific to their musical interests—like writing their first song based on their mutual loathing of gym class, “Hate the Sport”—and recognizable to those who grew up anywhere and anywhen. When Bobo and Klara start to fight over having a crush on the same boy, it resonates with all the strains on female friendships caused by evolving adolescent relationships, and the status dynamics of the friend who’s the follower pushing back against the friend who’s the leader.

But even more wonderfully, Best! captures its young protagonists as girls stepping back and forth across the line of being young women, with all the tangled, often contradictory accompanying emotions. They may be experimenting with boys and dropping F-bombs, but they’ll still cry when they get a cut on their hand, or make a snap decision to spend the money they’d panhandled to buy an electric guitar on ice cream instead. The beautifully authentic performances by the three bandmates capture that brief life moment when nearly everything can feel like a scary, joyous act of rebellion.



Mira Barkhammar, Mira Grosin, Liv LeMoyne
Not Rated

Twitter: @ScottRenshaw

Pin It


About The Author

Scott Renshaw

Scott Renshaw

More by Scott Renshaw

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Just the Facts

    Spotlight makes the work of journalism both heroic and painfully human.
    • Nov 18, 2015
  • Miner Disaster

    The 33 goes horribly wrong turning real-life tragedy to generic uplift.
    • Nov 11, 2015
  • The Peanuts Movie

    The Peanuts Movie celebrates the original spirit of its creator
    • Nov 4, 2015
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


© 2015 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation