#MOVIEREVIEWMONDAYS: Eighth Grade
“Eighth Grade” was written and directed by Bo Burnham, and stars Elsie Fisher as Kayla, our young protagonist who strives to change her social life for the better during her final week of middle school.
“Eighth Grade” marks the directorial debut of established and greatly-loved comedian Bo Burnham. I have to see, for a first-time director, this film is phenomenal.
Every scene is sewn together perfectly, appearing as if Burnham has been doing this his entire life. He was able to take something as simple as a coming-of-age story and made it completely unique and original.
For many audience members, this is their first true took at the current generation of youth in contemporary America, and they couldn’t get a more realistic and genuine example than this. The mannerisms, gestures, and obsessions of every single youth and adult alike in this film provides a seamless gateway into the generational gap.
The acting all-around is downright spectacular. Fisher’s portrayal is no different than any normal teenage girl of her age, and props must to be given to supporting actor Josh Hamilton as Kayla’s father. Every scene they share together are their shining moments, when true chemistry can be felt between them.
For those expecting Bo Burnham’s traditional satire present in the majority of his stand-up work, erase those expectations. What we get instead is largely situational and awkward comedy, with characters being placed into uncomfortable, hilarious conversations between peers. Older characters attempting to relate to the youth by acting “lit” also provides a decent number of great laughs.
Now about the filmmaking itself, it is nothing but spectacular. The cinematography mixed with selective colors of lighting create beauty in a modernized, tech-filled world. The editing is as smooth as you can get, especially when mixing scenes with Kayla’s video-diaries she posts online.
Burnham, being a musician himself, is masterful in implementing music into scenes. They can create fantastic moments of self-aware humor to those of downright terror. You will never look at a banana the same way ever again.
You will laugh, you will cry, you will cringe, and you will be scared. But you will love every second of Burnham’s breathtaking and relatable magnum opus. This is an absolute must see for everyone.