Newcomer Elsie Fisher, in a star-making performance, perfectly captures the everyday humiliations and triumphs of a modern-day thirteen-year-old making her way through the last week of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year in the auspicious filmmaking debut of comedian Bo Burnham.
"It's remarkable that Burnham - yes, a man - has delivered a film like Eighth Grade, which is so deeply rooted in the feminine adolescent experience that it often feels as if he must have cracked open a whole mess of girls' diaries to pen it." Kate Erbland - IndieWire
Most of us didn't have our lives figured out by eighth grade graduation, despite best efforts to prove otherwise in the face of our classmates. Smart phones and convenient tech have brought the existential dread of not being cool all the way home 24/7 for kids of the current generation. Without the threat of Russian strike, today's kids have far more intimate—but no less visceral—concerns. Bo Burnham's directorial debut weeds through the minefield that is modern adolescence through the view of Kayla, a thoughtful 13-year-old girl on the precipice of completing junior high. A social media life coach of sorts, Kayla produces YouTube videos to her imaginary subscribers about self-love and confidence, yet can't quite put these into practice in her own life. In avoiding typical autobiographical coming-of-age film cliches, Burnham, a renowned 27-year-old male comedian, tells his own empathetic tale through the eyes and voice of a female middle-schooler. Eighth Grade pulls the extraordinary out of the ordinary with a unique story amidst the average teen experience. Whether you're a current student, or an adult whose middle school years are long gone, Kayla (and Bo's) tale strikes home for any who have questioned if they belonged.
27-year-old musical comic Bo Burnham has built his career on writing irreverent tracks that lampoon social issues such as race, religion, and sexuality. His journey started on YouTube with a 2006 viral video, eventually leading to five stand-up tours, with specials airing on Comedy Central and Netflix. At the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, he won the Comedy Awards' panel prize and earned the "Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid" Award. Burnham also acted in SIFF 2017's opening night film, The Big Sick, playing C.J. Eighth Grade is his first foray into filmmaking.
Sponsored by BECU, Tito's Handmade Vodka, WARM 106.9 FM
- Director: Bo Burnham
- Principal Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton
- Premiere Status: Seattle
- Country: USA
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 93 minutes
- Producer: Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Christopher Storer, Lila Yacoub
- Screenplay: Bo Burnham
- Cinematographers: Andrew Wehde
- Editors: Jennifer Lilly
- Music: Anna Meredith
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: SFFILM Festival 2018 (Audience Award)
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: English
- Format: DCP
- US Distributor: A24 Films