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Movie review: Swedish girls go punk in lively 'We Are the Best!'

Published June 20, 2014 2:50 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Swedish comedy "We Are the Best!" is a rough-edged delight, a heartfelt rebel yell of youthful self-discovery.

Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Karla (Mira Grosin) are misfits in their Stockholm middle school, with self-inflicted haircuts and a love of punk music that their classmates say is dead in 1982. Undaunted, Karla urges Bobo to start a punk band, even though they have no instruments and can't play them anyway.

They get rehearsal time and a borrowed bass and drum kit at the local rec center, then persuade a straitlaced classmate, Hedvig (Liv Lemoyne), to be their guitarist and teach them the basics.

Writer-director Lucas Moodysson ("Show Me Love," "Lilya-4-Ever"), adapting a graphic novel by his wife, Coco, follows these girls as they turn schoolyard taunts and teachers' oppression into angry lyrics, while they also deal with issues of peer pressure and young love. Moodysson's vibe is as exuberant, raw and fresh as the girls' punk sensibilities.

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HHH

'We Are the Best!'

Opens Friday, June 20, at the Broadway Centre Cinemas; not rated, but probably R for language and teen drinking; in Swedish, with subtitles; 102 minutes.