Eighth Grade marks comedian Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, and stars Elsie Fisher as Kayla, a shy thirteen-year-old girl trying to survive the final week of her eighth-grade year before leaving to high school. Similarly to “Blockers”, this is a premise that has been explored before again and again. But what makes Eighth Grade so refreshing is how meticulous it is in representing the so-called “Generation Z”.
Burnham manages to portray the angst, the pimple-faced awkwardness and relentlessly cruel world of middle school so painfully honest, without ever mocking our protagonist. Elsie Fisher shines as Kayla, bringing a lot of depth and humanity to what could’ve easily been an archetype of a character. We laugh with her, we cry with her, and we cringe while remembering the memories of our own middle school days. It comes no surprise that the 27-year-old comedian, Bo Burnham, effortlessly weaves in commentary about the psychological effects of social media, burgeoning teenage sexuality, and the disconnect between generations. Eighth Grade is a laugh-out-loud funny, incredibly heartfelt and painfully real journey back to a time most of us wish to forget.
A24 Films will release “Eighth Grade” on July 13th. Click to watch the trailer below.