Sundance Movie Review: Eighth Grade

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When most people think of their time in eighth grade, they often cringe at awkward moments they had with their crush or the time they had to change the rubber bands in their braces.

Bo Burnham’s directorial debut film “Eighth Grade” follows the story of Kayla (Elsie Fisher), a girl who makes self-help videos and posts them on YouTube for all of her fans to see.

It’s not like your usual coming-of-age story. This story is full of those awkward AF moments all of us painfully remember from middle school.

The film follows Kayla as she goes through her last week in middle school, and yes, it is as cringy and awkward as everyone remembers eighth grade to be.

Burnham brilliantly captures the aching transition between middle school and high school through a female lens.

Fisher portrays the perfect eighth grader, as she was a real-life eighth grader while filming this movie.

Burnham said he listened to Fisher’s audition about five times, and after the fifth time, he knew he had found the star. Thus, the character of Kayla was born.

Throughout the film, every eighth grader is seen with a smartphone, either Snapchatting or looking through someone’s Instagram.

Since the movie takes place in current time, social media is very prevalent. From very modern language to Lebron James memes and Kayla’s Gucci and the frequent dabs, this film is spot-on with today’s meme language.

Overall this film became one of my favorites and made my first Sundance Film Festival movie experience a pleasurable one.

From Kayla’s YouTube videos to time capsules, this a film you will want to see again and again. A24 is set to release it later this year.