Eighth grade is an astounding film about 13-year old Kayla who is in the beautiful, emotionally-difficult, beginning stages of being a teenager. The film wraps around Kayla’s YouTube channel “Kayla’s Korner” where she gives positive, encouraging advice to her media audience, touching on subjects like “putting yourself out there” and “just being who you are.” However, it is quite obvious that Kayla has yet to embrace her full image and be herself.
Bo Burnham wrote and directed this incredibly-real film about the deep struggles of being a teenager in high school, and with every scene, I caught myself relating to Kayla, as she tries her best to keep it all together, am I for certain that others who watched did the same.
Attending high school in the age of social media where iPhones, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are the key elements in social acceptance is so tragically hard for students of all different background, and Burnham truly gives Elsie Fisher, actress who plays Kayla, a voice to show the tragedies and obstacles of being a high school in this particular generation.
Through all the awkwardness, constant voices in Kayla’s head, and the loneliness she feels laying in her room, Burnham tells a true, relatable coming-of-age story that resonates with every single person who went through the scary, embarrassing years of public middle school, and for that, I thank him.
And although Burnham did not receive any recognition from the Oscars for his debut writer-director independent film, he certainly gave a voice to young adolescents who need someone to tell them that they are not the only ones who feel the way they are feeling.