Mira Barkhammar (left), Mira Grosin and Liv LeMoyne live up to the title We Are The Best!
WE ARE THE BEST! (Lukas Moodysson). 102 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (May 30) at TIFF Bell Lightbox. For times, see listings. Rating: NNNN
This film, adapted by director Lukas Moodysson from the graphic novel by his wife, Coco Moodysson, is ostensibly about three Swedish girls who start a punk band in the early 80s. But it's as much about preteen mentality - that paradoxical tendency to be hilariously overconfident and hopelessly insecure at the same time - as it is about creative aspirations.
Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are ready to launch their punk music careers. They even have a signature song, Hate The Sport, a tuneless diatribe against gym class that they love to scream out to the rafters.
All they need to do is learn how to play their instruments and convert the school's nerdy classical guitar player Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) from Christian to punk.
Of course, no one at their school appreciates their efforts, and neither does Hedvig's mom, especially after the girls give their long-tressed friend a very short haircut.
Director Moodysson has an unerring eye and ear for the times - the adults, including some hippie parents, are as well rendered as the kids - and a clear sense of how preteens communicate with each other. It helps that he's working with three charismatic young actors.
Sly, fun and irresistible.