Lilya 4-ever, A Hole in My Heart, the odd but at least short Container and finally the bottom-of-the-barrel Mammoth -- Lukas Moodysson bounces back with the kind of movie in which he first made waves (Show Me Love, Together). His new one is titled WE ARE THE BEST! and for once that exclamation point is not de trop. This tale -- of two young girls (from the looks of it, they're middle-school age) who form a "girl band" with literally no experience to back them up, and the third girl they bring in who actually plays an instrument -- is so full of vitality and life bursting from its seams that, from the first few frames, you're smiling and hooked.
Mira Barkhammar (Bobo, above center), Mira Grosin (Klara, at right) and Liv LeMoyne (Hedvig, at left), they're as genuine as they are delightful -- and as enjoyable to spend time with as any kid characters I've seen on film since those in The Way Way Back.
Scene after scene works beautifully -- bonding over a cut on the hand, the "religious" discussion, the haircut, the food fight, the punk boy band the girls meet and go all gooey over -- and in this case, as usual, it's a male who screws things up a bit.
Magnolia Pictures -- opens this Friday, May 30, in New York City at the film centers Angelika and Elinor Bunin Munroe, in West Los Angeles at the NuArt, and across Canada in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In the weeks to come it'll play all across the USA. To see currently scheduled playdates, click here.