Jul 21, 2019
Things have sure been busy here at One Movie Punch. Just before the break, we received a number of collaboration offers, from fellow podcasters, and to my surprise, some people in the actual film business. We have nearly a full slate of Takeover Tuesday reviews through September, beginning this week with the return of the How I Met Your Friends podcast with a new series of reviews for the show. We have the return of Ryan L. Terry with a feature that’s finally available on Shudder, another Fantastic Fest feature from Andrew Campbell, and an excellent comedy review from One Movie Spouse. Oh yeah, and a Disney animated film that has everyone doing their best and worst singing.
Sundays around here sometimes turn into Sponsor Sundays, most recently with “Raw” (Episode #517), at the persistent insistence of Andrew Campbell. For more details, head over to patreon.com/onemoviepunch and consider giving at any level. Starting in August 2019, we’ll begin having exclusive content, including full film business interviews, special reviews, and other ideas in development. All funds go to help us grow with our audience. And for a new logo. Got any ideas about that? Hit us up over social media.
Later this week, One Movie Spouse and I will be co-reviewing “The Edge of Seventeen” (2016) to complete our tour of the recent string of excellent features about female adolescence, which includes today’s film, “Eighth Grade”. Bo Burnham’s debut feature caught everyone by storm last summer, and made for a funny, if awkward viewing with our recently graduated from eighth grade daughter. It presented an impressively honest and hilarious look at the innocence and careless cruelty of suburban youth experience. The film currently sits at an impressive and well deserved 99% Certified Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and an equally impressive 89 Must See rating at Metacritic. Elsie Fisher earned a Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy nomination at the Golden Globes earlier this year.
And before we get started, we’re running a brand new promo for our friends at the Moviedrone Podcast, which includes a regular feature known as Marc’s Movie Impressions. As some of you know, I am the founding member of the Marc’s Movie Impressions Preservation Society, which you can also check out on their feed. Enjoy the new promo, and let them, and us, know what you think!
Subscribe to stay current with the latest releases.
Connect with us over social media to continue the conversation.
Here we go!
Today’s movie is “Eighth Grade” (2018), the debut feature-length film written and directed by Bo Burnham. The film was produced and distributed by A24. The story follows Kayla (Elsie Fisher), a thirteen-year-old suburban girl during her last week of eighth grade, struggling to understand herself and the expanding world around her, firmly entrenched in today’s suburban environment.
I had someone ask online whether this film would be appropriate for their teen daughter to see. It’s a tough question to answer, though, because each parent really determines what limitations or restrictions they have for their child, and as a father who took his similarly aged daughter twice to see “Deadpool 2” (Episode #141), I might not be the best judge. But when it comes to the restrictions that parents place on their children, the only meaningful question to ask is why. When it comes to this movie, however, I think every young suburban girl should see it with their parents, because while it may make everyone uncomfortable, I also think the film is incredibly honest and can serve as a gateway to discuss one of the more difficult transitions in life, especially in modern suburbia.
Bo Burnham crafts an emotional and effective story about the empowering journey of female adolescence, and in particular, the transition to high school, when suburban adolescents begin to form smaller friend groups and the hormones and social media saturation accelerate sexual desires. Parents have a variety of methods for dealing with this transition, everything from a head in the sand to almost overly inquisitive helpfulness. It’s also a lot different from my adolescence, not just because I am biologically male, but also because I didn’t have access to the Internet, which has radically changed adolescence, in both good and bad ways.
Elsie Fisher is superb as Kayla, always believable and nailing the subtler aspects of the character in the dialogue and the unscripted nature of her videos. You really develop empathy with her right away, even when she lacks a lot of empathy for others in the way suburban adolescents can be, especially with their parents. You laugh for Kayla and hold tension with Kayla and even experience incredible fear for Kayla, following her emotional journey and embracing her epiphanies even though it was exactly what her father was trying to tell her throughout the entire film. Bo Burnham accentuates the entire journey with great scoring, excellent sets and costumes, and nearly perfect editing, with just a few rougher blended video scenes that didn’t land with me.
“Eighth Grade” (2018) is an incredible film about female adolescence, and the transition to high school, very likely to score more than one Oscar nomination this year, if there is any justice. More importantly, though, I really believe this film will be important for its honest and loving portrayal of suburban adolescent girls, with all its confusion and contradictions. Fans of coming of age films, and especially parents of adolescent girls should definitely see this film. I can’t recommend it enough.