Swedish director Lukas Moodysson was hailed as the new Ingmar Bergman when he released his beloved lesbian themed teenage drama 'Fucking Amal' in 1998. The comparison made no sense at all. Besides their shared nationality, there was not a single similarity between his lighthearted coming of age flick and Bergmans' moody, existential oeuvre. But even though Moodysson was far from the new Bergman, Fucking Amal was a fresh and catching debut. With his new feature 'Vi är bäst'! (2013) Moodysson returns to his success formula, after a couple of pretty dark movies. And it turned out to be his best in years, likely his best ever.
'We are the Best' deals with two thirteen year old girls who are desperate to form a punk rock band, without having the necessary equipment, let alone the musical skills. However, their geeky, Christian and socially isolated classmate Hedvig, who plays classical guitar, seems to be the solution to their problem. But first they have to convince her how cool playing in a punk band actually is. Before they realize, they have actually amounted to something that is not all that bad. Along the way they have some great adventures and become closer friends.
Moodysson succeeds yet again in making an honest and heartwarming portrait of teenage girls. He seems to have a good eye for spotting young talent as well, as the girls' acting is quite impressive. Especially Mira Grosin, who plays the cheeky but lovable Klara is a revelation. An irresistibly enjoyable little film for everyone who has been young (or still is) and rebellious. Perhaps it is less interesting for people who have no warm feelings for anything related to punk, but even then it will function as a great kids film. And kids films are of course a Swedish specialty. In that sense it is an offbeat addition to great Swedish children films and stories like Pippi Longstocking, but it falls more into the category of the 2008 Swedish horror film 'Let the Right one in' (2008) by Tomas Alfredson.
Release date and awards for 'We Are The Best'
The film was released in Sweden in 2013, and travelled around the film festival circuit worldwide, but will be finding its cinema release in 2014. The UK release date is set for 18 April 2014. So far it has already been awarded with several awards. In Sweden the success was moderate award-wise, but that is because it had tough competition of 'Monica's Waltz', 'Shed no Tears' and 'The Reunion'.