We Are the Best!
We Are the Best! is Lukas Moodysson’s superb return to film after a four-year break, triggered by the less than enthusiastic response to Mammoth in 2009. Having released ten films over the space of 14 years, Moodysson was “tired both of film and [himself] as a director”, but rather romantically, it was his wife and collaborator who gave him the inspiration to go back to directing.
Based on Coco Moodysson’s graphic novel Aldrig Godnatt (Never Goodnight), We Are the Best! follows the journey that two young girls of 13 undertake to throw punk back in the face of the mocking masses. In baggy wools, stripy leggings and self-cut hairstyles the pair start a band in order to shout and scream free of restraint. Truly punk! The only problem is they can’t play any instruments. Cue the sweet and untainted Christian Hedvig, who moves the mischievous friends to tears with her guitar playing.
The casting superbly portrays the contrast of young, inspired children with jovial and carefree adults. Mira Barkhammer, Mira Grosin and Liv LeMoyne, who play Bobo, Klara and Hedvig respectively, have that deadpan individuality that sets them apart from their classmates, while still retaining an unrefined naivety that contributes to the raw element of the film. The dialogue delivery combined with the crude cinematography provides a very realist, documentary-style finish.
Typically Moodysson, this film is grounded in loneliness and escapism, with a plot that is not particularly eccentric or original. Classic plot devices of childhood friendship – with all its companionship, betrayal, jealousy and influence – pervade the film, but it is more about the tone than the story itself. It is small details that constitute the raw, edgy quality that makes this film such a success. The obscured camera shots and loud background noise, chopping from scene to scene, create that all-important tone that Moodysson so treasures.
Reflecting on this, Moodysson suggested that the gist of his style is based on his “mistrust of stories, explanations and ideologies, which aim to explain everything”. Nothing is more profound in this film than that attention to the little details and the now, leaving a liberating sense of euphoria gained from that forgotten act of living in the present.
We Are the Best! is released nationwide on 18th April 2014.
Watch the trailer for We Are the Best! here: