Writer: Bo Burnham (Screenplay)
Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Daniel Zolghadri, Fred Hechinger
Plot: An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school.
Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Surprising Look at Middle School Life
Story: Eight Grade starts as we meet teenage girl Kayla (Fisher), she has her own YouTube channel where she tries to provide confidence to her viewers while being brand the ‘quietest’ girl in school on her final week of eighth grade before moving onto high school.
We see how Kayla decides to make the most of the final week, by becoming more confident and even attending a party which is against anything she would normally do. Kayla is preparing for high school while battling her own problems inside, being confident on camera and a nervous wreck in person.
Thoughts on Eighth Grade
Characters – Kayla is in her final week of eighth grade, she is a quiet student, shy from her fellow students, but in her home, she puts herself forward as a confident YouTuber trying to promote people to be themselves not worrying about what people think or say. She is branded the quietest girl in her grade which makes her depressed and alone because of the lack of friends in her life. She does befriend her high school shadow believing life could be different when she gets to high school, but like all school kids they are addicted to their phones. Mark is Kayla’s father that is trying his hardest to let her have her space grow up on her own, he does however want to make sure she is safe in her own life, he does have to take a lot of abuse from his daughter who won’t open up to him. Olivia is a high school student that Kayla must shadow for a day, she is one of the first people that opens up to Kayla about being herself in life. Gabe is one of the few people her age that talks to her like nothing is different between them, willing to be away from their phone.
Performances – Elsie Fisher is outstanding in the leading role of this film, she shows every moment of anxiety a school student could be going through with each decision process her character must go through. Josh Hamilton is wonderful in the father role, he shows us how parents can be there without interfering with their child’s life, giving us the perfect expressions to deal with the situations. The rest of the cast do fit their generic school figures without being involved in anything different.
Story – The story here follows Kayla a middle school student that hasn’t got any friends about to get through the high school with her final week being her time to take the risks she had never imagined taking, all this while she tries to discover her place in the world. this is a surprisingly look at how school kids even as young as Kayla operate with mobiles pretty much glued to their hands, not wanting to have a conversation with an actually person. This does show us how difficult school can be for an outsider and how people need to be accepting people whoever they are.
Comedy – The film does offer us laughs at times, they blend well with the serious moments which show us just how difficult this moment in life will be for Kayla.
Settings – The film doesn’t give us any major solo setting we mostly follow the different locations that Kayla visits to be outside her normal self.
Final Thoughts – This is a hard hitting look at school life for you Kayla, we see how difficult her time can be and how she gets through without letting anybody bother her.
Overall: Harsh reality of school exposed.