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We Are the Best!

May 30, 2014

directed by Lukas Moodysson, 2013

We Are the Best!

Punk-rock advocacy takes unique form in Swedish director Lukas Moodysson’s We Are the Best!, a lively document of friendship and budding artistic passion in early 1980s Stockholm, and a clear change of pace for a director whose prior films took on the mold of far-more-overwrought dramas. Trading in punishing and preachy for sweet and adorable, Moodysson more than scales back the melodrama in his latest film, contrasting significantly from Lilya 4-Ever’s disturbing look at teenage prostitution and Mammoth’s Iñárritu-esque view of globalization and the human condition.

Take one look at the film’s featured poster of its three female leads and you might think you know the approach this film will take—notions that are likely to be quickly put to rest as the film shows general disinterest in coming-of-age tropes and “big” moments. Written by Moodysson and based on the actual experiences of his wife, Coco, as documented in her graphic novel Never Goodnight,We Are the Best! is decorated in youthful spirit but surprisingly shies away from nostalgia. Delightfully playing against expectations with its surplus of hangout sessions and general sense of peering in on adulthood from the outside looking in, Moodysson proves to be an easy conjurer of empathy for the warm-hearted youths that populate his film.

Read full review at In Review Online

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