‘We Are the Best!’
There are fewer movie highs out there to top “We are the Best!”, a boisterous Swedish comedy about three tween girls who decide to form a noisy, terrible punk band. Shot with cascading zooms, it’s both a celebration and light mockery of youth. Like the bands they’re emulating, our heroes can’t play, even the one who’s a classical guitarist. Their songs evolve from being about hating sports (lyric: “Hate the sport! Hate the sport!”) to crushing capitalism — not that they have any idea what they’re talking about.
Youth is a tricky things to capture; try too hard and it can feel like it's trying too hard to be down with the kids. Director Lukas Moodysson (long ago of the similarly ace lesbian teen romance “Show Me Love”) is one who gets it just right. “Best!” is a remembrance piece not only of Stockholm 1982 but of a specific age, when we’ve first learned to tear down our childhood self but have yet to succumb to the seriousness of our looming teenage years. It’s a raucous celebration of being young and dumb, when we have no idea what to rage against but need to rage all the same.
The VOD success story of 2014 slips into its new life, streaming as part of subscription packages. Hopefully you got to see it on the big screen. It's an alternate universe blockbuster that thinks big but also thinks also weird, with Captain America himself (Chris Evans) leading a class revolt on a post-apocalyptic train, but also, late in, delivering a crazy monologue that would never fly in Hollywood.
Quentin Tarantino also deserves as big a screen as possible, no less because he’s one of the few still shooting on actual film. But his works — and especially his words — are meant to be savored, and his Blaxploitation Western goof is one worth revisiting, in part to smooth out its many seams. An imperfect work — especially after the nearly perfect “Inglourious Basterds” — it nonetheless boasts some of his most flowery chatter. One could listen to Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio hold court for hours, which is kind of what you get.
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