There's a stage of early teenage life when even one's most banal self-expressions seem worthy of an exclamation point, but Lukas Moodysson's "We Are the Best!," an eccentric, authentic and utterly delightful evocation of that very period -- in Stockholm, circa 1982 -- more than merits its own. In fact, it could do with three: one for each of the fierce-yet-fragile 13-year-old femmes at this lively pic's center, who form a punk trio to vent their litany of middle-class problems. Audiences who responded to Moodysson's breakthrough features "Show Me Love" and "Together" will thrill to this sweet, spirited return to form, as should plenty of newer, younger converts.

Adapted from a semi-autobiographical, Daniel Clowes-style graphic novel by Moodysson's wife, Coco, it's the rare film about adolescence that doesn't seem exclusively targeted either to teens or to adults.

The film begins chiefly as a two-hander, establishing the deep friendship between tomboyish middle-schoolers Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) through a sequence of simple, relatable vignettes, and, despite no obvious musical ability on the part of either child, found a somewhat understaffed garage band.

Sensibly deciding that they need at least some informed musical influence, Bobo recruits another classmate, skilled classical guitarist Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne), after seeing her play at a school talent show.

There's a Polaroid softness to Ulf Brantas' lensing, while interiors and costumes alike pop with clashing colors and textures, but the film steers just clear of camp in this department: Linda Janson and Paola Holmer's production design is particularly perceptive, marking differences in social status by showing just how much of the 1970s lingers in different households.

Music supervisor Rasmus Thord, obviously, has a ball with the material, though there's nothing on the soundtrack quite as catchy as an artless original ditty titled "Brezhnev and Reagan, Fuck Off!"

© 2013 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC