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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

We Are the Best! review (LOCO London Comedy Film Festival)

We Are the Best! green light

An exuberant rock ’n’ roll comedy in which three of the most memorable movie teens ever embrace their adolescent angst and give it screaming voice.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

It’s 1982 in Stockholm, and don’t you dare say punk is dead. Not when 13-year-old pals Klara (Mira Grosin) and Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) have decided to start a punk band. True, they don’t know what chords are, or what constitutes a harmony, but what the hell. As a “political” act, they befriend a loner Christian music nerd at their school, Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne), which also has a purely practical side effect: she can teach them how to play guitar. Swedish filmmaker Lukas Moodysson (Together) — writing with his wife, Coco Moodysson, from her graphic novel — gives us an exuberant rock ’n’ roll comedy in which three of the most memorable movie teens ever embrace their adolescent angst and give it screaming voice (I love the song they write about how pointless and boring sports are in the grand scheme of injustice in the world). There are too few movies about girls at this precarious age, when their little-girl enthusiasm too often gives way to the stifling pressures of looking pretty so boys will like them, and their unique personalities get subsumed in the perceived need to conform to a narrow ideal. Not that these three don’t worry about acquiring boyfriends — one plot diversion has them meeting up with a boy punk band for reasons beyond comparing musical notes; they just won’t change who they are along the way. Their hilariously unflagging determination and spirit, especially in the face of a lot of ridicule and just plain old sexism on their journey, is a much more appealing ideal to aspire to.

viewed during the 57th BFI London Film Festival; also screened at the 3rd LOCO London Comedy Film Festival

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We Are the Best! (2014)
US/Can release: May 30 2014 (VOD Jun 20 2014)
UK/Ire release: Apr 18 2014

MPAA: not rated
BBFC: rated 15 (contains very strong language)

viewed in 2D
viewed at a private screening with an audience of critics

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

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