EIGHTH GRADE -Review By Gadi Elkon

"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next" Abraham Lincoln.

Gucci it is bitches!!  Here is my review of Eighth Grade

Writer/Director Bo Burnham's venture into the life of an eighth grade girl is one of the year's best films.  A mixture of cringe worthy moments and humorous childish sequences allows for a shockingly heartbreaking 93 minutes.  Elsie Fischer stars as Kayla, the 8th grader, a young girl looking to expand her social circle by trying to debunk her "quiet" label.  Elsie creates a YouTube page to discuss the issues confronting her in life.  Raised in a single-parent household and striving to have more friends or at least connections we see Elsie make bold steps in this coming-of-age journey.  Josh Hamilton shines as Kayla's caring father who is just trying to connect with his budding future teenage daughter.  Bo Burnham's brash sense of humor is interestingly fully connected through the young voices he has found in the movie.  A24 has another hit on it's hands and the critical response has been huge.  This film is making waves and even folks like Molly Ringwald had this to say, "I just saw @eighthgrademov and thought it was the best film about adolescence I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe ever."  That's right the queen of the Hughes generation of teenage films believes she's found her 2018 protege.  So I'll just say I loved the movie and BELIEVE everyone should see this film.  The everyone part is the sad reality of the movie though.  A strong R rating has been given to the film.  The movie includes a few curse words and awkward elements that do showcase a little note for parents, but an R rating?  

The stars of the film can't even go see the movie?  The MPAA has done this pretty frequently.  The Spectacular Now got an R and we've seen films like KIDS or Blue Valentine get the dreaded NC-17 even.  But Eighth Grade is not anything like those.  It's not American Pie where a kid fucks an apple pie or any violent film that garners an R rating.  The Hunger Games got a freaking PG-13!!  Why would a film with a bunch of eight graders get struck with an R rating.  A few f words, a little girl trying to figure out how to stimulate oral sex on a banana?  If a movie ever deserved a little love from the dreaded MPAA it's this amazingly moving film.  Molly Ringwald is correct, this maybe one of the greatest films about adolescence every done.  And yet adolescence kiddos technically have to wait until they are older to see it?  

I'm not writing this review to let you know I like it or love it.  But rather I've decided to instead make a plea to parents out there.  Go see this film with your kids.  It'll help you understand them a bit more, not completely and certainly won't make the upcoming teenage years easy,it'll be a real connective moment.  This is a the type of film that will allow you to talk with your kids.  Not about how to Dab or why GUCCI is the it word in the film.  In the trailer you see a glimpse of a scene between Josh Hamilton and Elsie Fischer that is about her burning her "hopes and dreams".  This bonfire destruction  is a really poignant moment where Kayla decides she is not the same girl that she was in 6th grade.  Bo Burnham doesn't write a scene that is to fluffy or over-the-top instead it's a little girl having the chance to make a real statement.  Josh's performance as the confused and concerned father is perfectly laid out.  He simply hugs his daughter and allows her to know he is there.  The scene is worth the price of admission alone.  

Eighth Grade is the younger and hipper Ladybird of 2018.  Let's do it a favor and show it as much love as we did for Greta Gerwig's look at teenage agnst.  And to all those kids whose folks don't want to take them, SNEAK INTO THE DAMN MOVIE!  Make sure to shout it out on social media so you don't just steal from A24, Bob and the kids in the film.  Just make sure you go see it.

For all my North Texas folks the film is out now in theaters around DFW.  BUT there is a real treat.  Bo Burnham is in town for a few Q&As.  

 

 

 

Directed by Bo Burnham
Written By Bo Burnham
Rated R
Selig Rating A+
Running Time 1 hr 33 min
Coming Of Age Drama
Limited Release January 19 
Starring: Elsie Fischer, Josh Hamilton, & Jake Ryan
 
The Selig Rating Scale:
 
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
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