Eighth Grade is the singular debut feature from YouTuber-turned-comedian-turned-filmmaker Bo Burnham, and proves that he is as confident and gifted behind the camera as he is in front of it.
Thirteen-year-old Kayla (played by an extraordinary Elsie Fisher) is the lightning rod at the centre of the film, a vlogger that distributes life advice online whilst attempting to tackle her own social anxiety and loneliness. The film takes place over Kayla’s tumultuous final week in eighth grade, as she navigates her social media reliance, awkward first crush, and the incessant questions of her embarrassing single father, all before graduating to high school.
Demonstrating Burnham’s assured and impressive filmmaking chops, it elicits pitch-perfect performances from first time actors, and crafts a unique coming-of-age tale within territory that is so often trod. Hollywood has also taken notice of the young director’s talent, with the film garnering coveted awards including the Director’s Guild of America’s ‘Best First Feature’, as well as the Writer’s Guild of America’s ‘Best Original Screenplay’.
Remember the name Elsie Fisher. After watching Eighth Grade you will agree that her budding talent is unquestionable – make sure you catch her now, as her intergalactic rise to stardom is inevitable.
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