GenreDrama, Music ScreenplayLukas Moodysson CountrySweden
Release date9 September 2013 (2013-09-09) (TIFF)
11 October 2013 (2013-10-11) (Sweden) Based onNever Goodnight
by Coco Moodysson WriterLukas Moodysson, Coco Moodysson (comic book) CastMira Barkhammar (Bobo), Mira Grosin (Klara), Liv LeMoyne (Hedvig), David Dencik (Klaras pappa), Johan Liljemark (Kenneth), Mattias Wiberg (Roger) Similar moviesDirected by Lukas Moodysson, Movies about punk rock, Set in Sweden
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We Are the Best! (Swedish: Vi är bäst!) is a 2013 Swedish-Danish drama film written and directed by Lukas Moodysson and adapted from the graphic novel Never Goodnight by his wife Coco Moodysson. The film was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.
1982 Stockholm: Bobo and Klara are 13-year-old girls ostracized by their peers for their love of punk rock. Androgynous, with short hair and baggy clothes, they endure the wrath of condescending teen boys who play in a rock band called Iron Fist at their youth center. The girls start their own band to irritate the boys, though neither girl knows how to play music. Bobo feels neglected by her single mother and uses punk as a means of escape. Klara is angry and political and writes sardonic lyrics as her creative outlet.
The duo ask a shy and friendless Christian girl, Hedvig, to join their band after seeing her classical-guitar performance at their school talent show. Hedvig teaches them how to play chords and sing harmonies. She's a respectful and patient teacher even though Klara tries to convince her not to believe in God. Klara relents when Bobo states her own agnostic beliefs. Bobo and Klara talk Hedvig into cutting off her long hair into a punk look. Hedvig's mother threatens to report this to the police. On the condition that they go to church every week, she will let the matter rest. This turns out to be a ruse, to teach Bobo and Klara what's it like being forced into something you do not want to do.
At school, Hedvig avoids Bobo and Klara; they think that this is because she regrets having her hair cut and is angry at them. She is actually embarrassed by her mother's behavior and assumes that Bobo and Klara are angry at her. They remain friends. Klara then suggests that Hedvig gets an electrical guitar and beg to strangers at the mall. They end up buying sweets instead. While eating the sweets they call Elis a member of a band named Sabotage. He agrees to meet them at the train station.
When they meet the other band members they go to their recording place. Klara says Bobo is better off with Elis and Klara with David. It turns out that David was kicked out so Klara goes out to Elis. This angers Bobo so she decides to call and meet up with Elis later. When Klara figures out she is angry and gets into a fight with Bobo. Hedvig later convinces them to make up.
One of the youth counselors attempts to teach Hedvig how to play electric guitar but she proves to be a much better musician than he is. Bobo is frustrated playing drums and angry that Klara won't let her try the bass. The youth counselors book the girls' band to a small gig in Västerås, playing with Iron Fist. When the audience heckles them, the girls perform their one song, "Hate the Sport!," changing the lyrics to "Hate Västerås!," causing a minor riot. However, this apparently earns them the respect and approval of Iron Fist. The film ends with Bobo, Klara and Hedvig declaring, "We are the best!" The youth counselors are of the opinion that they are the worst. The girls laugh and carry on. The film ends with Klara's father sitting on the toilet playing a clarinet.
Mira Barkhammar as Bobo
Mira Grosin as Klara
Liv LeMoyne as Hedvig
Mattias Wiberg as Roger
Jonathan Salomonsson as Elis
David Dencik as Klara's father
Charlie Falk as Linus
Alvin Strollo as Mackan
Ann-Sofie Rase as Hedvig's mother
Lily Moodysson as Hedvig's sister
Edvin Ottoson as Iron Fist Frontman
Nick Kankaanpää as Iron Fist Member
Felix Klaesson as Iron Fist Member
Victor Norlin Ericsson as Iron Fist Member
Viveca Dahlén as Gunnel
Clara Christiansson as Louise
Sebastian Mira as Jon
Lucas Hammaström as Mårten
Livia Rembe Nylander as Mia
Samuel Lazar Eriksson as Wizard
Following its premiere at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, We Are the Best! was released in its home country of Sweden on 11 October 2013. The film was later released in Denmark on 29 May 2014 and in the United States (via limited release) on 30 May 2014.
We Are the Best! received critical acclaim; on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 97% "fresh" rating based on 112 reviews. The consensus states: "Sweet, empathetic, and shot through with a palpable joy, We Are the Best! offers a tender tribute to the bittersweet tumult of adolescence." On Metacritic, the film has an 87/100 rating based on 28 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".
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