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If there’s one thing you need to know about comedian Bo Burnham’s directorial debut, it’s this: “Eighth grade is the worst.”
The darling of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Eighth Grade follows 13-year-old vlogger Kayla (Elsie Fisher) during the final week of middle school. Voted “Most Quiet” by her peers, Kayla isn’t actually all that quiet on her channel; she’s just a bit awkward. “I don’t talk a lot at school,” she says in
the first trailer, “but if people talk to me and stuff they’d find out that I’m really funny and cool and talkative.”
Cut to a painfully uncomfortable “I like your shirt a lot” interaction with the cool girls.
But that’s the beauty of Eighth Grade. It’s achingly authentic in a way that makes you empathize with Kayla as she messily navigates her way through crushes, angst, sex education, and a dad who so doesn’t understand — while also being extremely grateful you never had a Snapchat in fifth grade. Or any social media. Some photos should never see the light of day.
“I’m really nervous all the time,” she says. “I try really hard not to feel that way.”
Don’t we all.
Written and directed by Burnham, Eighth Grade will hit theatres nationwide this July.