CCFF 2018: Eighth Grade

Elsie Fisher appears in Eighth Grade by Bo Burnham, an official selection of the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Eighth Grade, the closing night selection of the 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival, is a film that perfectly captures the spirit and awkwardness of being a student in the final year of middle school.

Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) may be close to starting high school but before doing so, she must survive the end of eighth grade.  It’s not easy for the smartphone-obsessed teenager.  Even though she has a YouTube channel where she offers advice to others, she’s not the perfect person when it comes to applying said advice to her own actions.

What comedian Bo Burnham has done with his feature directorial debut is magnificently capture what it’s like to be, surprisingly on his part, a female student in the closing days of junior high.  Eighth Grade isn’t an all-out comedy because it shouldn’t be.  There’s drama in this film, too, and the stakes are never more heightened than they are during a game of Truth-Or-Dare.

With the perfect casting of Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade is a film that could have come from the mind of John Hughes if he had wrote a film with the social media generation in mind.

DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER:  Bo Burnham
CAST:  Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan

An official selection of the 2018 Chicago Critics Film Festival, Eighth Grade held its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.  A24 Films will release Eighth Grade on July 13, 2018.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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