Adolescence or early adolescence is often addressed in movies with a glossy veneer or with a narrative that almost seems too good to be true.
The new movie, Eighth Grade, strips away that veneer to reveal the almost terrifying anxiety that comes with that period in our lives.
Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) lives the live of a typical eighth grade student. On one hand, she has her own you tube channel where she talks with ease about topics such as self-esteem, self-confidence, etc. But on the other hand, when she enters school, she is known as introverted and awkward. Taking place during the last week of eighth grade, the film follows Kayla as she navigates the turmoil and confusion that is early adolescence.
Written and directed by Bo Burnham, this film is nothing short of remarkable. From the outside looking in, the first question is how can a grown man in his 20’s create a film about a thirteen year old that resonates with audiences of all ages? The answer is that there is a humanity to the main character that speak to all of us. While her specific experiences are that of a girl about to start high school, her anxieties and world view, especially in 2018 are universal.
I absolutely recommend it.