Review in Brief: Eighth Grade (2018)

Bo Burnham’s EIGHTH GRADE was one of the surprise highlights of last decade. Achingly truthful, deceptively insightful and connected to its teenage characters, it was the best coming-of-age movie in a decade of great coming-of-age movies like THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN, MID90S and BOOKSMART to name but three. Elsie Fisher is transcendent as Kayla, her performance that really couldn’t be more grounded and exposed. It’s telling that a YouTube star makes the platform an essential aspect to the storytelling in his feature debut, that the latest generation see social media as their whole identity. The cross-cutting audio of confidently delivered vlogs with silent domestic/social scenes wracked with nerves is an effective trick to employ, and one of the few occasions where the screens are put away as Kayla and her father (Josh Hamilton) connect at their most emotionally vulnerable moment really packs a wallop. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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