Stockholm, 1982. A soft-spoken thirteen-year-old girl named Bobo painfully sits through another family function, all the while wishing she was hanging out with her only friend, the confident, mohawk-sporting Klara. Their bond is a special one- being dubbed outcasts from society, the girls don’t mind the judgement. In fact, they welcome it. Together, they raise chaos at their middle school with their mature looks and “anti-everything” attitude. These girls are punks, rebels without a cause, and the protagonists of the acclaimed Swedish drama, We Are The Best!
Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara’s (Mira Grosin) androgynous looks draw criticism from their peers, but it’s no concern of theirs. The only thing on their mind is building their punk band, consisting only of the duo at the moment. Lacking any talent, they look at Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne), the blonde haired Christian “good girl” who catches their attention at the school talent show with her classical guitar training. Bobo and Klara befriend Hedvig who, hesitant at first, agrees to join their band and enter their world.
The casting could not have been better, and considering this is the feature film debut for all three actors, it amplifies the film’s authenticity and heart.
A unique and engaging concept for a film, director Lukas Moodysson relates the present day feelings of social awkwardness and teenage angst with the rebellious musical scene of the eighties. This is no “Josie and the Pussycats,” these girls are the epitome of badass: buzz cuts, Doc Martens and tattered sweaters are their shared signature style. Even with their disheveled exteriors, their look is so unique and naturally beautiful, we can’t help but instantly fall for them.
We Are The Best! hits all of the right notes A quick paced story told in Swedish with English subtitles is met with that hand-held camerawork you’d want and expect from an artistic film with edge. The casting could not have been better, and considering this is the feature film debut for all three actors, it amplifies the film’s authenticity and heart.
The talent is obviously there, and director Lukas Moodysson’s ability to connect with his cast is evident by the quality he’s produced.
We Are The Best! was a huge hit during the 2013 festival circuit and it’s obvious why. This grungy story of friendship and self-confidence is both inspiring for an audience member as it is completely satisfying as a critic.
Playing in only a limited release, the film opens today at the Nuart Theatre in West L.A. and the Angelika Film Center & Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in NYC.