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We Are the Best!

We Are the Best!.jpgLukas Moodysson’s 2003 film Lilya 4-Ever was my second favorite film of 2003.  It’s a film I’ve seen one time and never desire to see a second time because of how graphic and horrifying it is.  Moodysson is a filmmaker that has never really achieved large scale critical success, but he’s a filmmaker that always creates something unique and has his own singular vision on the films he makes.  I either love him, or can’t stand him.  There’s no in-between.  His films are usually bleak visions on life.  That’s why when I saw We Are the Best! I was taken completely by surprise.  It is full of joy and what it’s like to be a kid falling in love with music, and wanting to start a band.  It’s a film I’d have no hard time seeing a second time.

We Are the Best! is a film based on a graphic novel written by Moodysson’s wife Coco.  It follows the lives of three young teenage girls, Bobo, Klara, and Hedvig, in the early 1980’s.  the girls are social outcasts at school for different reasons, but they find a common ground in music.  They love punk rock, and it’s when Klara and Bobo find that their local community center has free rehearsal space and instruments, that they decide they want to try and start a band….even though they’ve never even touched an instrument before.

Bobo bangs away on the drums while Klara just slaps on the bass and makes up lyrics about how sports are stupid in school.  They have no idea what they’re doing, but they’re having fun and there’s something that drives them to continue wanting to practice.

They soon meet Hedvig who is actually a very well trained classical guitar player.  She’s a nerdy quiet type who you would think would want nothing to do with the two punk girls, but they have more in common than they realize.  Hedvig becomes their teacher and helps them understand how to actually play together and create a song.

This is how band’s start.  This is how kids learn to play instruments.  What’s a chord?  What you mean we’re not playing in time?  We don’t care.  It’s actual one of the most realistic portrayals of how you form a band that I’ve ever seen.  It’s a huge learning process.  You meet people in bands in the same circles and that changes how you learn to play and learn to write as well.  There’s something addictive about music though and the film shows why that is.  It shows how that addiction is born.

We Are the Best! is full of a lot of humor.  These three girls are finding a bond through music, and finding a lot of joy in it.  People make fun of them of course but they don’t really care, and Klara is the one the helps the other two realize that they shouldn’t care who others around them think.  It’s a film that most people may not see, and it will probably not make a lot of “Best of” end of year lists.  I think it does belong there though.

Grade: A-