EIGHTH GRADE writer/director BO BURNHAM interview & review
Eighth Grade Writer/director Bo Burnham talks about how anxiety and the internet led him to create the film. He explains its messages and how he was able to give the film its awkward authentic feel.
Eighth Grade is an entertaining yet painful film to watch as it accurately portrays the struggles and pressures of adolescence. The film follows middle school outcast Kayla (Elsie Fisher) in her final week in the eighth grade. Kayla had big plans for middle school and believed she would come out of her shell making new friends and finding a boyfriend. With eighth grade ending, she now reflects on her failures and tries to achieve everything within the final week.
There are many opportunities for Eighth Grade to fall into clichés as the film uses many standard coming of age tropes like peer pressure, teenage emotional outbursts and frustration with parents, pressure to have sex, and self esteem, yet Bo Burnham’s writing and Elsie Fisher’s delivery seem so genuine and raw that you can’t help but feel bad for the girl. Throughout the film she struggles with more and more issues and continues to fall deeper into depression. If not for the humor in her awkwardness the film itself would be too depressing to watch. Fisher is able to play the part seriously yet bring enough awkward charm to make the film enjoyable and to make you care for her character.
Eighth Grade should be considered a must watch for all father’s of daughters entering high school as it shows the emotional roller coaster that they are about to embark on.