Eighth Grade: The Beginning

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This is Elsie Fisher, a year-old actress herself, amazingly in touch with what it's like to be in the stage of life she's actually in. Kayla airbrushes out her acne, and swoops on heavy eyeliner. When you see what her life is actually like the Kayla's Korner videos take on an almost tragic significance. But it's strangely hopeful too. This is a young girl trying to understand what she is going through, and she does so by positioning herself as an expert and a helper to others. Kayla lives at home with her dad Josh Hamilton.

There's no mother in the picture why isn't explained until near the end. Her dad struggles to keep a connection with his adolescent daughter, who seems hell bent on shutting him out. The dad's attempts at conversation "Are you excited about high school? They're amazing. Kayla doesn't have any friends, and harbors a gigantic crush on the sleepy-eyed uber-confident Aiden Luke Prael , swooning whenever she looks at him.

Bo Burnham knows that of all the terrors in this world, there is nothing quite as terrifying as being a shy 8th grader, attending a birthday party for the most popular kid in school. Filmed like a moment from "Amityville Horror," Kayla stands at the sliding glass doors in her lime-green one-piece bathing suit, shoulders hunched, arms dangling down, staring out at the playful shenanigans of her classmates, all of whom display the social ease utterly unattainable to an outsider like Kayla.

Burnham pulls the camera back slowly, as the electronic music composed by Anna Meredith blots out all other sound, with Kayla hovering in the background, a ghostly figure seen through glass. A flourish can be empty, a flourish can keep the audience comfortably "above" the action onscreen. But Burnham knows what he's doing.

Every moment is life-or-death when you're These flourishes identify us so strongly with Kayla that every social scenario is pierced with emotional peril. There's all kinds of sublimated "commentary" in "Eighth Grade" about what it's like to be a teenager today: constant internet use, scrolling through the carefully curated Instagram feeds of classmates, the societal pressure to seem "okay" and "fabulous" all the time.

When a teenager feels pressure to "perform" her life on Instagram or Snapchat, it changes the game in subtle ways that probably aren't even understood yet. But Burnham keeps the touch light and humorous. He doesn't lecture from a podium. There's an overhead shot of a school assembly, showing hundreds of kids sitting there clutching their phones in their hands. In a chilling sequence, the kids are put through a lockdown drill, where they have to hide under the desks from a hypothetical shooter.

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They all crouch there, waiting for it to be over, faces lit up by the glow of their phones. But Burnham stays down on the ground with the kids, he's in the thick of it. If social media can keep us disconnected from one another, it can also connect us. After a day "shadowing" a kindly high-school student named Olivia Emily Robinson , Kayla gets up the courage to call Olivia and thank her, and Olivia is thrilled in her new role as mentor and friend.

She even invites Kayla to come hang out at the mall.


Eighth Grade

Darker moments threaten. An encounter with an older boy, who tries to force her to play Truth or Dare in the back of his car, highlights just how terrifyingly young she is. Her father trails along behind her, trying to give her space, but also worried about what might be going on.

Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade,” Reviewed: A Teen Coming-of-Age Story Plagued by Niceness

His concern makes him "hover," and Kayla is desperate to get away from him, but in a late scene, when she asks him if it makes him "sad" to have her as a daughter—his shock that she would feel that way about herself is heartbreaking. All of the kids in the cast are real middle-schoolers, not somethings playing at adolescence.

There's a vast difference between a year-old and a year-old, but this has—typically—been difficult for films to acknowledge or portray. Michael Phillips. In addition to its queasy verisimilitude, "Eighth Grade" offers acute observations on how social media and the language of self-care have warped teen life. Naomi Fry. It lures the audience in with the promise of nostalgia and present-day security, then challenges it to take a long look at itself in the mirror.

Tyler Smith.

Eighth Grade Review | Movie - Empire

But Kayla is a little girl lost. Andiee Paviour. Eighth Grade may legitimately be the last movie in this genre to ever stun me and move me like it did. Ryan Syrek. The movie is rich with details that ring true, like a kid's quiet reverie as he sniffs a Magic Marker, or Kayla's crush turning his eyelids inside out in a swimming pool.

Erica Ciccarone. Michael J. Chris Hunneysett. Top Box Office. More Top Movies Trailers. Certified Fresh Picks. Billions: Season 4.

Bo Burnham on Why Being 13 Is Horrifying and Fun

Black Mirror: Season 5. Fear the Walking Dead: Season 5. Game of Thrones: Season 8. The Handmaid's Tale: Season 3. Into The Dark: Season 1. Legion: Season 3. Certified Fresh Pick. View All. Summer Movie Guide Log in with Facebook. Email address. Log In. First Name. Last Name. Sign Up. Email Address. Real Quick. We want to hear what you have to say but need to verify your email. Please click the link below to receive your verification email. Cancel Resend Email. Add Article. Eighth Grade Critics Consensus Eighth Grade takes a look at its titular time period that offers a rare and resounding ring of truth while heralding breakthroughs for writer-director Bo Burnham and captivating star Elsie Fisher.

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Share on Facebook. View All Videos 1. View All Photos. Movie Info Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school--the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year before she begins high school. Bo Burnham. Sep 25, Elsie Fisher as Kayla. Josh Hamilton as Mark.

EIGHTH GRADE: The Best Horror Film of 2018

Emily Robinson as Olivia. Jake Ryan. Missy Yager as Dianne. Daniel Zolghadri as Riley. Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the Oscar Winners.

Mar 21, Full Review…. Aug 1, Full Review…. Jul 9, Full Review…. Jun 18, Rating: A Full Review….

Eighth Grade: The Beginning Eighth Grade: The Beginning
Eighth Grade: The Beginning Eighth Grade: The Beginning
Eighth Grade: The Beginning Eighth Grade: The Beginning
Eighth Grade: The Beginning Eighth Grade: The Beginning
Eighth Grade: The Beginning Eighth Grade: The Beginning
Eighth Grade: The Beginning Eighth Grade: The Beginning

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