We Are the Best: Coming of Age Comedy from Lukas Moodysson

The talented Swedish director Lukas Moodysson has made some very good films and some very bad ones, but his work has never been dull.

The seventh feature film from the acclaimed Swedish helmer marks a departure from the grimmer social commentary of his Mammoth (2009) and Lilly-4-Ever (2002) and a return to the lighter comedies such as Together (2000) and F–king Amal (1998), with which he launched his international career.

In 1998, he burst upon the international scene with the lesbian romance, “Show Me Love,” about two rebellious highschoolers

Moodyson’s new film, “We’re the Best,” he centers on three young women trying their hardest to shake things up in 1982 Stockholm. Their plan to start a punk band is driven more by the spirit of bored rebellion than talent or skill.

Moodysson adapted to the big screen his wife Coco’s graphic novel about three young misfits growing up in early 1980s.

Pixieish, mohawk-sporting Klara (Mira Grosin) and her best friend Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) are 13-year-old rebels looking for a cause. Despite having no instruments-or discernible musical talent–the two put all their energy into forming an all-girl punk band, recruiting their shy, classical guitar-playing schoolmate Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) as the third wheel.

Showing tender affection for his young characters and good eye for the particular period in which his tale is set, Moodysson paints an ebullient and sharply observant portrait of DIY spirit and growing up different. 

This underrated film has one of the highest ratings among critics (97 percent of the reviews were positive).  Yet it never found an audience in the US.  Was it the timing of release: Magnolia distributed the film in the summer.

Authentic in dialogue and manners, We Are the Best! adds an impressive panel to the ever-growing coming-of-age genre.

Running time: 102 Minutes.