Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
25 years ago, 'Clerks' was the low-budget comedy that took the world by storm. Click here to relive it in Jess' retrospective review!x
review, Eighth Grade, Eighth, Grade, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Daniel Zolghadri, Frank Deal, Greg Crowe, Emily Robinson, Phoebe Amirault, Natalie Carter, Jake Ryan, Jalesia Martinez, Bo Burnham film rating

EIGHTH GRADE

★★★★

AN INSIGHTFULLY HONEST PORTRAYAL OF YOUTH

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
15th December 2018

Who were you in school? The outcast? The popular kid? The jock? The joker? The nerd? A little of both, or something altogether different? It’s odd to think back on your younger years and how they defined you, how the happiest times are just as memorable as the most painful - and add puberty on top to make life just that little bit more uncomfortable. The new Bo Burnham film ‘Eighth Grade’ captures this experience with an insightful honesty, as seen through the eyes of a teenage girl.

Kayla (Golden Globe nominee Elsie Fisher) is a reserved 13-year-old who’s on the verge of leaving the eighth grade - and middle school - forever. She vlogs online (not that she has any real following), is being raised by her awkward dad (Josh Hamilton, Netflix’s ‘13 Reasons Why’, ‘Frances Ha’), and doesn’t really have any connections at school. Kayla recovers a time capsule that she created when she entered middle school, and she begins to question who she is as she becomes an adult.

'EIGHTH GRADE' TRAILER

‘Eighth Grade’ is less a film about a story, and more about emotions. We go on a journey with Kayla, and see some of the things in her life that make it challenging - she’s obsessed with a boy in her class but all he’s interested in is sex, she posts YouTube videos about being confident yet almost has an anxiety attack at a classmate’s pool party, and she struggles with her overbearing (yet largely unloved) father. These moments are bittersweet - sometimes funny, sometimes devastating, sometimes both. Burnham as screenwriter has managed to take a little personal experience and turn it into a story that is both very present and relevant, yet also resonant of many people’s youth.

Burnham in his directorial debut is also a great success - the film itself is very observational, the camera often handheld and therefore personal. It’s all very naturally lit, sometimes no more than Kayla’s face illuminated by her phone screen in her pitch-black bedroom. That helps reenforce the reality of the experience - but this is also skilfully paired with flashes of hyperrealism. You know those moments where time seems to slow around you? We see those moments from Kayla’s point of view, as the world moves in slo mo and music pulses over it. It’s a technique used sparingly but effectively.

Elsie Fisher’s efforts here are spectacular. In a completely understated performance, she is the centre of this film - we are observing everything through her eyes, and feeling everything that she does.

All of this work would have been irrelevant if the central performance didn’t resonate, which is what makes Elsie Fisher’s efforts here so spectacular. In a completely understated performance, she is the centre of this film - we are observing everything through her eyes, and feeling everything that she does. She becomes the audience’s empath for the experience she’s on, allowing us into her world to witness an extremely vulnerable and personal performance.

This is a film about growing up, and the gruelling moments it takes for us to get there. Through confronting issues like the pain of loneliness, the awkwardness of sexuality, safety in U.S. schools, the lie of our online personas and the elusiveness of happiness, ‘Eighth Grade’ manages to present a portrait of the struggles of a young teenager. And not just a young teenager, but almost any young teenager. The story’s relatability, regardless of age or gender, is its most powerful weapon. It also offers a glimmer of hope, reminding our young protagonist that, while this shitstorm doesn’t seem like it will ever end, there is life past 13.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 03/01/2019
RUN TIME: 1h 33m
CAST: Elsie Fisher
Josh Hamilton
Daniel Zolghadri
Frank Deal
Greg Crowe
Emily Robinson
Phoebe Amirault
Natalie Carter
Jake Ryan
Jalesia Martinez
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Bo Burnham
PRODUCERS: Scott Rudin
Lila Yacoub
Christopher Storer
Eli Bush
www.EighthGrade.movie
EighthGradeMov
EighthGradeMov
EighthGradeMov
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
After the Wedding - Michelle Williams & Julianne Moore's glamorous outing
TRENDINGWIN AFTER THE WEDDINGMichelle Williams & Julianne Moore's glamorous outing
The Keeper - True story of WWII prisoner to soccer superstar
TRENDINGWIN THE KEEPERTrue story of WWII prisoner to soccer superstar
Promised - Love is never perfectly arranged
TRENDINGWIN PROMISEDLove is never perfectly arranged
Balloon - Courage takes flight
TRENDINGWIN BALLOONCourage takes flight
British Film Festival 2019 - Your ticket to the hottest festival in town
TRENDINGWIN BRITISH FILM FESTIVAL 2019Your ticket to the hottest festival in town
Promised - Flashback to Australian-Italians in the 1970s is a bland affair
TRENDINGPROMISEDFlashback to Australian-Italians in the 1970s is a bland affair
Ride Like a Girl - Melbourne Cup biopic plagued by race's questionable history
TRENDINGRIDE LIKE A GIRLMelbourne Cup biopic plagued by race's questionable history
Locusts - A low-key, low-down thriller
TRENDINGLOCUSTSA low-key, low-down thriller
Slam - A gripping urban mystery
TRENDINGSLAMA gripping urban mystery
25 years since Clerks - The Impact of Kevin Smith on an unsuspecting Hollywood
TRENDING25 YEARS SINCE CLERKSThe Impact of Kevin Smith on an unsuspecting Hollywood
Pavarotti - A perfunctory portrait of an opera superstar
TRENDINGPAVAROTTIA perfunctory portrait of an opera superstar
Zombieland: Double Tap - The gang's back for a brainless zombie comedy sequel
TRENDINGZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAPThe gang's back for a brainless zombie comedy sequel
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil - Disney still have some magic left in them
TRENDINGMALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVILDisney still have some magic left in them
Midsommar - Ari Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
TRENDINGMIDSOMMARAri Aster brings the gore but lacks the emotion
Blinded By The Light - The spiritual sequel to Bend It Like Beckham
TRENDINGBLINDED BY THE LIGHTThe spiritual sequel to Bend It Like Beckham
25 km/h - A supremely easygoing German comedy
TRENDING25 KM/HA supremely easygoing German comedy
NT Live: Fleabag - The birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
TRENDINGNT LIVE: FLEABAGThe birth of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's masterwork
Children of the Sea - Sunk by a soggy script
TRENDINGCHILDREN OF THE SEASunk by a soggy script
Bangla - A truly beautiful mess
TRENDINGBANGLAA truly beautiful mess
Top End Wedding - Outback fantastic
TRENDINGTOP END WEDDINGOutback fantastic
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us