We Are the Best

I don’t see enough current movies to make reviews a regular thing, but last week we watched a movie that’s pretty recent and exceptionally good. Going in I knew nothing about “We Are the Best!” and we spent the first few minutes puzzling over the language (Swedish). “We Are the Best!” is a great, sweet movie about young girls finding their identity through music. I can’t remember the last movie I saw that told that kind of story this well and this organically, and the lead performances are excellent.

The movie is set in 1982, when punk is a force in pop culture but it’s a little out of fashion. 13-year-old punk fans Bobo, painfully shy, and Klara, a natural frontwoman if ever there was one, start a band at their local rec center to spite the resident hair metal dudes. They’ve never played before and from the first moment their joy in making a godawful racket is a ton of fun to watch. If you were in a band around that age, I think you’ll know exactly how they feel.

The girls are confident their music is amazing from the start, but they  draft talented 16-year-old classical guitarist Hedvig into the band because they are desperate for lessons. They gradually become friends and learn a little from each other without getting sappy. They only have one song – inspired by their gym teacher, it’s about how much they hate sports – but it’s catchy. After a low-key but somewhat predictable fight over a boy, the movie climaxes with a battle of the bands that turns into a fantastic punk moment. It’s a terrific little movie that feels honest and lived-in, and I can’t recommend it more highly for music lovers – especially those of us who felt like outsiders until we heard music that spoke to us, and for us.

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