Looking through Lukas Moodysson’s filmography, I realise that almost accidentally I’ve seen nearly all of his films. His early ones were most likely watched late night on SBS when I was no doubt intrigued by the coveted ‘s’ and ‘n’ in the TV guide, promising me scintillating European sex and nudity. What I got instead, with films like Show Me Love and Together, was an introduction to world cinema with humanist stories about people that I could recognise in my own life.
After a slew of bleaker films in recent years, Moodysson is revisiting the warmth of those earlier efforts. What he has created with We Are The Best is a deeply personal project, this time adapting his wife (Coco Moodysson)’s autobiographical graphic novel about growing up in early 80’s Stockholm and starting a punk band with some friends, a few years after Punk has been declared dead. Keeping the comic’s period setting is key as it infuses the film with a sense of authenticity that the best coming of age dramas contain. Although calling this film a ‘coming of age drama’ perhaps does it a mild disservice as it manages to avoid many pitfalls of the genre and ends up being more of a study of a friendship. Not to mention that it can be funnier than most modern comedies. Continue reading →