Set in Stockholm in 1982, Mags Moodyson’s delightful coming-of-age movie sees introverted, androgynous and socially-conscious Bobo and her garrulous friend Klara form a punk band.
It’s their defiant outsider retort to life at school where they are misfits - teased by the flaxen haired girls - still mourning the break-up of ABBA - and ridiculed by surly Heavy Metal boys. At home, the pair are treated with a loving bemusement by their respective parents.
These two wannabe outsider punks have the look and the attitude for sure but they just don’t have the songs or the ability to play until they manage to recruit devout Christian and gifted guitarist Hedvig to their cause. Bonded by friendship and the urge to make a difference or at least some noise, their confidence and attitude grows. “God is a fascist” and the nascent politically-charged punk trio rhyme “morgue” with “Bjorn Borg”. Sport, meanwhile, is just another way of kowtowing to "The Man".
We Are The Best! shoots us right back to an era when music was a tribal stance and the right haircut was everything. In a sign of just how hardcore they are, Klara’s older brother, Linus, is deemed a “sell out” because he only listens to Joy Division.
Moodysson’s film, which he co-wrote with his wife, Coco, from her graphic novel, is a small affair, full of quirky observations on teen trauma but also long on laughs and memorable characters. It captures the major mortifications and minor triumphs of the teenage years brilliantly and there are beautifully naturalistic performances from the two hugely likeable leads (both making their debuts) as they tremble on the terrifying and tantalising brink of teen hood.
Will there be a sequel in five years' time?