May 29, 2014

REVIEW: We're the Best! (dir. Moodysson)

From my Guardian review:—
'... The film repeatedly pulls of something of the same trick:  channelling punk’s sneer in the direction of more charitable embrace, Moodysson has fashioned a sweet, spirited misfit anthem — a spirited ode to anarchy, teen spirit and home-made haircuts. He may be the only film director in whom the legacies of Ingmar Bergman and ABBA might be said to be, if not reconciled, then put on the same page, hawk-eyed observation of his fellow humans duking it out with the equally acute desire to join them when they bum-rush the dance-floor. Just recently, it’s looked like Bergman had the upper hand, with Moodysson going on a prolonged dark tear, making films on sex trafficking (Lilja 4-Ever),  pornography (A Hole in My Heart) and globalisation (Mammoth).  We’re The Best! sees him returning to the warm-hearted vitality, and suburban mileu, of his 2000 film, Together, about life on a hippie commune in the seventies as viewed through the eyes of it’s latchkey kids. You’d call it a coming-of-age film except the ages were reversed: the adults squabbling like kids, the kids sombre and purposeful, like miniature adults. That reversal is present in softer, refracted form, too, in We’re The Best, which boasts its share of unsorted out parents, negotiating their forties by arguing about politics, getting drunk and playing spin-the-bottle.  Bobo’s mother, in particular, seems to be emerging from her divorce a newly-born 13-year-old, sobbing on the bed when her latest boyfriend breaks up with her. Bobo administers a hug, then makes dinner for herself by popping fish-sticks in the toaster. Bobo’s grown in the opposite direction, you realise: desexualized to the point of boyishness, she stares at her squashed-potato face in the mirror in a manner both deeply unimpressed and mutely accepting of what she sees —— “nyeah,” the look seems to say, “What are you going to do.”  

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