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Plot: In his feature film directorial debut, comedian Bo Burnham deftly encapsulates the awkwardness, angst, self-loathing and reinvention that a teenage girl goes through on the cusp of high school. Given that the 27-year-old stand-up comic achieved fame as a teenager himself through YouTube by riffing… Runtime: 93 min Release Date: 03 Aug 2018
I'm a 60 year old man...but now I remember (by shawlawoff)
I was introduced to Bo Burnham by my adult children who found his stand-up specials funny. I watched and found him extremely talented with an underlying sadness.I expected this movie to be uproarious with an undercurrent of teenage angst. Instead, it was incredibly poignant and moving. In fact, it was so painful atbpkints I found it difficult to watch.In the scene where she drops her cell phone due to excitement of being invited to the mall by an older friend, my eyes began to well up with tears.It is one of the most realistic movies regarding youth that I have ever seen.A painful watch but <more>
well worth it. Burnham has a big future ahead of him.
As a mother of three daughters and having the last one just finish 8th grade, this movie rang so familiar. I have heard my husband try to communicate to my daughter's in the same way and it brought back all my feelings of being in middle school. Thank you.
This movie is very relatable (by valofan-52877)
I went and saw this movie at the Chicago Critics Film Festival. I am 29 years old and completely enjoyed this film about Eighth Grade. It hit home many times reminding me of my own middle school and high school years. I have never related to a character more than I did to Kayla. I found myself crying multiple times because it brought up intense emotions. Burnham deals with the awkwardness of that age with comedy while exploring the deeper themes during that time period. I recommend this movie to anyone.
Cringe-worthy, Honest and Deeply Empathetic (by Jared_Andrews)
'Eighth Grade' is a movie you'll be talking about for a long time. Bo Burnham, one of the O.G.'s of teen YouTube stardom, has given us an agonizingly rich and authentic look at what life is like for Kayla Elsie Fisher , a shy 13-year-old girl in today's social media obsessed world. Burnham, directing his first feature, doesn't spare any detail and doesn't alter any truth. This film is exceedingly honest. It doesn't depict Kayla's experiences the way we might think they should be for an eighth grader or the way we might want them to be-they're simply <more>
presented as they are. Pool parties are a source of unbearable discomfort. First sexual encounters are not always pleasant. Kids with exploding hormones and little impulse control randomly shout unfunny phrases at assemblies in the hopes of earning a laugh.The storytelling has the feel of a nature documentary. We can almost hear the narrator describing Kayla's attempts to navigate her fascinating and frightening terrain. Playing the vulnerable character who's far from the top of the food chain, she's just trying to survive. Kayla, like so many kids her age, is a shy girl pretending to be confident. She posts advice videos to YouTube on how to be yourself, something with which she still very much struggles. As she records one video, she slowly rolls her chair farther away from the camera, indicating a declining level of self-assurance. This mirrors her real-world peer interactions, in which she stammers and laughs halfway through sentences as she begins to doubt herself and shrink with embarrassment, not that the self-absorbed "listener" bothers to notice.All the kids stare at their phones constantly. These modern mean girls barely bother to muster up the energy put others down with a passive-aggressive remark because that would involve speaking to another person. Instead, they inflict harm by neglecting to acknowledge an uncool kid's mere existence. As cruel as that sounds, these popular kids aren't presented as villains. This is simply their way of handling their own insecurities. There are no villains in eighth grade-they're all just kids trying to figure out their lives and trying to figure out themselves.And the adults don't know how to handle any of this. Kayla's dad wants to connect with her, but is met with constant rejection. He smartly gives her space and only requests her attention to remind her how much he loves her. In one scene, Kayla asks if she makes him sad, and he fervently reassures her that she makes him profoundly happy. Like Kayla, he can't always find the right words, but he successfully expresses the feeling. That scene is a microcosm of the entire film. Its dialogue isn't readily quotable or particularly memorable, and that's okay. What is actually said isn't as important as the meaning behind it. Parents can keep this in mind when they have conversations with their own kids, possibly directly after watching this film. Many kids and parents will likely watch it together since it carries an "R" rating it's ironic that a film that accurately reflects the lives of eighth graders is deemed too adult for them to watch on their own . And parents should watch this with their kids, so they can both understand each other a little bit better. They'll both be better for doing so.
THE FILM for this current generation (by littlemankazoo)
Full disclosure: Middle school was the worst years of my life and nothing will ever change that from being the case.That's perhaps why I find myself so baffled by what Bo Burnham has accomplished with his writing/directorial debut and the newest of A24's heavyweight lineup of independent films.Bo Burnham, using some sort of voodoo magic and perhaps an animal sacrifice or two, has managed to not only boil-down all of the awkwardness, unsureness, experimenting, anxiety and emotions of this period of life down to a science, but he also has managed to write what is quite possibly one of <more>
the most honest and realistic portrayals of a teenage girl that I have ever seen.To preface; I absolutely adore Bo Burnham, but I was fairly skeptical entering a film that he himself directed and wrote. With all the creative decisions of a pretty small film under him, this could have easily devolved into disaster if he didn't have the chops.But, to perhaps no one's surprise, one of the most creative stand-up comedians in the game right now debuted with one of the best portrayals of our teenage years and this current generation, which figures coming from the man who's career began from humble beginnings in the early ages of Youtube."Eighth Grade" is the story of Kayla Day, played by unknown-until-now Elsie Fisher, and her final days in eighth grade and all the awkward, weird, joyous and miserable ways those days can transpire. These are presented to us in perhaps slightly disjointed manner, but they almost feel anecdotal in their manner. Plus, as I can attest and ANY middle schooler can attest, all those days and experiences eventually blend-in at some point...What I feel the need to point out immediately is the absolutely incredible performance by Elsie Fisher, who executes what I think is THE GREATEST portrayal of a teenager I have ever seen put to film. She doesn't deliver lines like an actor, but instead with all the unevenness and unsure feelings one would come to expect. She doesn't look like a supermodel so you buy every single second of her self-doubt, her nerves and anxieties. Even as a 21-year old male, there is so much in her performance and the character she creates in Kayla Day that I STILL related massively to her. I absolutely think this is a star-making performance, and if Elsie Fisher doesn't get an Academy Award nomination, the Academy will have egg on their face.In addition to Elsie Fisher, we get wonderful supporting performances from the likes of Josh Hamilton as her father, along with a bundle of other teen actors who are just as honest in their interpretation of adolescences as Bo Burnham's writing is. There is not a single performance I did not buy in this film, which makes all the emotions and ways you can relate to this that much more visceral in their nature.To go off of that, Bo Burnham's screenplay is something of an odd beast that ends up working anyway. Rather than character arcs or any real setups, this feel ends up feeling staggered in its way it tells various instances and scenarios Kayla goes through, which works to its advantage in the way it easily weaves. In addition, as I said before, the way all of these teenagers are written is the complete opposite of the over-blown and silly portrayals we see in work like "Mean Girls" or any other Disney Channel or Young Adult work you could find. This is HONEST, and Bo Burnham seems to have found a seemingly John Hughes-esque talent of capturing what this current generation is all about and how it operates.Which perhaps brings me to this film's most powerful aspect, but potentially also its only real weakness.This film is going to be THE cult film of a generation. Specifically, this one. The "Smart Phone Generation", as some derisively call my generation and the ones after us.So much of this film paints a portrait of these kids growing-up in a confusing time with an even more confusing climate of the internet and social media floating around them. Granted, I don't believe it is touched-on quite as well as last year's "Ingrid Goes West" Which completely DESTROYS the foundations of social media and critiques it viciously , but it holds its cards close to its hands as it shows Kayla and everyone growing-up in a previous generation that is trying its hardest to keep up and understand them, while they continue to move at light-speed and learn everything, repeat everything, and see the world from their smart phone screens and laptop screens. It's an understated theme to the film, and I think that's what truly makes this film an ESSENTIAL film for the Millenial generation to witness and relate massively to, and know that there is someone out there who understands and can tell stories they can connect to. If any film taps-into the culture of today from a child's perspective, it's most certainly this one.That said, this is a double-edged sword. This film could potentially become a time-capsule and soon become outdated and lose its relevance with how timely it attempts to be. While all the smart phones, social media sites and Rick & Morty references are working in the wheelhouse here and now, it has the potential to become VERY outdated and seemingly tacky in about 10-15 years, and I am a firm believer that a truly classic film should remain timeless in some aspects. My fear is that this film could potentially end up dating itself, which isn't a terrible fate for a film that is so definitively THIS GENERATION, but that's perhaps a slight negative.Along with this, there's obviously a few odds and ends that come from the fact that Bo Burnham is a first-time director. He attempts visual motifs with his cinematography, but they eventually recede as the film progresses and we get odd choices of handheld camera work instead. It feels hardly artificial and genuine, for certain, but it lacks a real punch and artistry that I think was needed to push this even harder. Along with it, I think he pushes towards "breaking points" in certain scenes of the film that could really create powerful, effective scenes of drama, but it seems he's afraid of going just that extra length to punch us with the emotion of it. If you see the film, you will know the exact scenes I am describing in this fashion.All of that said, and all of my concerns aside...this is a truly spectacular film for all it does right. It feels personal, it feels like it is made from the ground-up for this generation and understands it better than an Hollywood screenwriter could, is acted honestly and never shies away from trying to articulate EXACTLY what these years of life were like.And for me to see the worst years of my life interpreted on the big screen...that's a pretty good feeling.Pretty terrifying and awkward and cringe-y. But pretty good.
To the people calling it too cringeworthy or unrealistic (by lukamp)
I understand, that there's a lot of close minded people of the older generation here that don't find this movie to be realistic cause it's different to when they were in Eighth Grade, but the world has changed. All you need to do is go online and find some random kid with 10 subscribers making YouTube videos to understand where the cringe of 'gucci' etc. comes from. I know people somewhat akin to the main character, and honestly, her inability to express herself is realistic. The dialogue as well, I walk through the halls of my high school, and just want to cringe to death <more>
at the way the younger kids speak, and I think it's great that it is being explored through this film, something a lot of people have and will never understand. Anyway I thought it was a good film, no one's going to read this but who cares, I wrote it in 5 minutes.
Hard, But Beautiful and Accurate (by alicefuller-26975)
Eighth Grade, directed by Bo Burnham, is a candidly witty and honest film about the life and times of super-relatable, awkward eighth grade student, Kayla, as she lives her way through her last weeks of middle school and prepares to enter the world of high school. From the beginning, the moviegoer is pulled into an awkward teen video blog being shot by Kayla, in which she discusses, with all of the stammering teen lingo, the importance of being yourself to her very scarce amount of viewers. After Kayla stumbles her way through this vlog, a bright, electronic, loud song comes on as we see <more>
Kayla walking up the sidewalk and into her school. Immediately the song pulls one into the story with its bright, vivid, upfront song, which abruptly ends as soon as the scene switches to Kayla sitting in her classroom. As can be seen throughout the movie, the music in this film is designed to be not background music, but foreground music, playing its own role in the film. The music lifts when Kayla is lifted, builds the tension in her anxious, nervous moments, and stops abruptly in big moments, as though the audience is personally in and experiencing the moment with Kayla. The plot line of the movie takes even the most 'popular' people back to middle school in that the awkwardness and pain of trying to fit in, as well as the joy in figuring out who you are so relatable that it hurts. The camera work with awkward close-ups, immediacy of confusing acts caught in slow motion, and montages that represent the sporadic-ness of the middle school girl's mind follows the actions and thoughts of Kayla in such a way that the audience feels like they are reliving middle school with her, and maybe even through her. Much unlike other middle school or high school coming-of-age stories, the film beautifully and accurately explores the eighth grader's journey in trying to figure out who they are and find their identity as a person with all of the awkward, painful, triumphant and hopeful moments that come with this stage of life. The moviegoer struggles with Kayla as she tries to find herself amidst trying to be someone she's not. All in all, this movie can be hard to watch, but I think that that's because it is honest and truthful about what eighth grade can be like. I think some will relate more to it than others, but ultimately, it's a really well-done take on the struggle that is middle school.
Extremely accurate and hard to watch (by oliviaej-09390)
This movie was emotional for me for reasons I'm not sure how to express. It was very relatable and well-made, making you absolutely feel for the protagonist in every way. Everything about it was spot-on to me. It made me cry very hard in the middle, cry in the car, and tear up throughout the day afterwards. It's definitely worth the watch.
Cringiest Movie Ever? (by evanston_dad)
What is that sound, you ask? It's the nearly audible cringing that accompanies every frame of "Eighth Grade," an epic of middle school proportions.It's hard to know who cringes more: the film's protagonist, played in a pimpled blaze of glory by Elsie Fisher, or those of us watching her character navigate the landmine-riddled battlefield of adolescence. The film is painful to the extreme, but painful in that cathartic way that stories are when you know everyone has experienced some version of it. We've all been there and, for better or worse, most of us come out on <more>
the other side and live to tell the tale.My junior high experience was nowhere nearly as awkward and angst-filled as the one shown in this film, but I also didn't have to contend with social media and the additional pressures it puts on kids to be popular. As a 43-year-old man watching this movie, I most related to the dad, played winningly and goofily by Josh Hamilton. His father character tries awfully hard but is at a loss for most of the movie, one moment bonding with his daughter over some fatherly advice while in the next having bananas chucked at his chest. Seeing him try his best to make sense of that elusive thing known as the female teenage brain is pretty hilarious.Mostly no offense ladies , this movie made me glad that I have boys instead of girls.Grade: A