By Naseem Ally. Eighth Grade from the studio powerhouse that is A24, is a coming of age comedy-drama that is centered around an eighth grader, hence the title, played by Elsie Fisher as Kayla Day. It follows Kayla’s difficulties of managing life as an eighth grader, during the last week of classes she has before going on to graduate to high school.
This film explores common issues that face young people during this period, such as anxiety, social media and self-discovery. Kayla’s saving grace through all of this, is her producing vlogs on YouTube giving life advice to her fellow eighth graders.
A24 are really a roll with the quality of their films as of late. This film follows another coming of age movie from the studio, recently released in the UK, Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid 90’s that has received its fair share of plaudits. I’m looking forward to Eighth Grade, as it looks like it has all the ingredients to be something truly special.
The critical acclaim it received at its premiere of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival is also a plus. Bo Burnham, the stand-up comedian who got his start on YouTube, began fleshing out the screenplay for this in 2014, as he was inspired by his own struggles with anxiety and wanted to bring his vision to the big screen.
For his directorial debut, I have to admit looking at the trailer alone, the work does look very ambitious and refreshing. Let’s just hope it lives up to the hype. Having a quick YouTube search of the promo interviews for the film, it is clear to see that Bo and Elsie seem to have really great chemistry. Could this be another legendary director and actor duo?
With all that being said, Eighth Grade looks promising and can potentially put itself among the classic ‘coming of age’ movies.
Come 26th April, audiences should be in for a treat!
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