‘Eighth Grade’ Is Brilliantly Real and A Must-See

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Eighth Grade follows the awkward and lonely Kayla as she tries to make her way through the eighth grade. Kayla wants what anyone wants which is acceptance from her peers. The film is framed with videos that Kayla makes for YouTube. These videos consist of Kayla giving advice on topics such as how to be yourself and how to be confident, and play as Kayla is trying to do those things herself.

The film revolves a lot around the internet, as most of our lives do these days. But the use of technology is not overdone and out of touch as it is in many films and TV shows, instead it serves to show the place technology holds in Kayla’s life and how it contributes to the anxiety and nervousness she experiences.

My favorite thing about this film was how real it was. From the panic Kayla faces as she enters a pool party, to her conversations with her dad at the dinner table I related to all of it. I literally felt as though I was transported back in time to when I was that age.

For me, however, this film isn’t just relatable to eighth grade me, but to current me as well. Writer and director Bo Burnham did a masterful job creating the stress and anxiety many people face daily through the story of an eighth grader, which is a stressful age for anybody to be. Also, all the questions Kayla faces, such as how to be yourself, are struggles that any age can relate to.

One of the reasons Kayla’s feelings came through so well was through the choice to focus the camera mainly on Kayla’s face during anxiety inducing situations. This happens at one point during the pool party where the camera is entirely focused on Kayla’s face although you can hear a fight happening in the background. Another instance of this is when Kayla is in the car with her dad and is telling him to “stop looking like that”. Instead of panning over to the dad’s face to see what Kayla is talking about, the camera focuses on Kayla so that we can see the dozens of emotions going through her head through her facial expressions.

On that topic, I can’t talk about the emotion the audience gets from Kayla without discussing Elsie Fisher’s acting. She pulls off this role phenomenally. In most films about kids this age they are so out of touch and the kids don’t seem genuine, but that is not the case at all in this film. Fisher’s slight eye movements and the way she smiles and nods as her character tries to fit in really sell the realness of the film and how relatable it is.

Not only is this film relatable, but it is also funny. Burnham does an amazing job placing humor so effortlessly throughout the film simply through everyday actions that we all can relate to.

Honestly, I must applaud Burnham for making perhaps the most relatable and real movie about growing up that I have ever seen. Eighth Grade will have you laughing, crying, and saying, “wow I didn’t know other people did that”.


My Rating: 99%

Acting: 4/4

Cinematography: 3.9/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

 

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Film Forecast Friday: July 13th

On July 13th we have…

  1. Skyscraper
  2. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
  3. Sorry To Bother You
  4. Eighth Grade
  5. Don’t worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot

Julia’s predictions:

The two biggest movies this week will definitely be Skyscraper and Hotel Transylvania 3. Skyscraper stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who always seems to draw large audiences, and Hotel Transylvania 3 is the third installment in an adequately successful movie series so should draw a decent sized audience as well.

However, the movie I am most excited for this week is one hundred percent Eighth Grade. It is written and directed by my favorite comedian, Bo Burnham, and looks like a relatable commentary on technology, social anxiety, growing up, and so much more. It also has a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes right now so the critics seem to be loving it!

I am also pretty excited for Sorry To Bother You and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot which I expect to be hits among indie movie goers but not on a larger scale. Both have really good trailers and seem to be receiving a pretty positive reception so far.

Anthony’s predictions:

It’s going to prove very difficult to choose whether Hotel Transylvania 3 and Skyscraper will make more at the box office this weekend. Both have all-star cast, and Hotel Transylvania 3 is a sequel. If there’s anything to know about the general audience, it’s that they love sequels. Meanwhile the latter has Dwayne Johnson, which could be a good thing if you’re not completely tired of him after his last couple movies.

Sorry To Bother You has Armie Hammer in it, which makes it sold for me because I adore his acting. It’s pretty comptable to Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot as far as box office is concerned.

Eighth Grade is a new Bo Burnham movie and it’s inevitably going to be hilarious and hopefully a hit, as all of Burnham’s work are so genuine and hysterical while being generally astounding. The only thing that will hinder its box office profit is the unfortunate fact that it does not by any means have a wide release.