One of the best movies that I saw at Sundance earlier this year was a little film called Eight Grade. Jr. High is easily the most awkward time for people when growing up and this film perfectly captures what it is like for these young teens who are going through it in the present day.
I have a daughter in Jr. High, so I can 100% relate to the story that this movie tells. There are a lot of truths captured in this film and it was filled with charm, inspiration, and funny awkwardness. I love this movie, and I hope that people actually give it a chance. Here's a breakdown of the story from my review:
The story for the film revolves around eighth-grader Kayla Day who is looking for a connection to the world on her phone and she makes YouTube videos for people like her, who are going through the same growing pain issues that she is.
Kayla is a shy and quiet girl who wants friends and wants to be accepted. In this time, she is having feelings of isolation, anxiety, and feeling invisible. These are things that I think many of us have dealt with during Jr. High and I can see my own daughter going through it as well.
However, Kayla is determined to overcome these issues and manages to harness the power of confidence to try and talk more, be social, and make friends and as she attempts these things, it all comes out in the most charming and awkward ways that are both funny and cringe-worthy because a lot of us know what that's like!
This story all takes place on the last week of school as she is about to leave Jr. High behind her and this is her last ditch effort to exist in this place where she spent the last two years of her life being unseen. At the same time, she is struggling to bridge the gap between how she sees herself and who she believes she should be.
The film was written and directed by Bo Burnham and the main character was played by Elsie Fisher, who gave such a wonderful performance. Eighth Grade will be released this summer on July 13th.