Bo Burnham’s EIGHTH GRADE really drives home how often teen movies feel like period pieces predicated on nostalgia even when set in the 2010s, and is an instant classic for how *present* it feels, in its empathy for the future-shocked adolescence of the social media generation. That I was concerned that my parents would judge protag Kayla too harshly for her constant phone usage and ‘like’-peppered speech if I showed them the movie shows how much it made me care about her well-being in this overwhelming and strange century. She feels effortlessly real. One of my favourite movies of the year, and anchored by an absolutely magnificent, heartbreaking, nuanced performance by the young lead, Elsie Fisher; so good, in fact, that I was incredibly relieved to read that she doesn’t seem to suffer from the intense social anxiety of poor Kayla (who nonetheless finds her way). She does seem to share her on-screen counterpart’s intelligence.
December 2, 2018