Eighth Grade ★★★★★

Bo Burnham, you gaddamn sonuvabitch.

This film is equal parts hilarious, heartbreaking, heartwarming, nerve-racking, traumatic, and horrifying.

Burnham has managed to craft a film that understands its subject matter so well that you'd think it was written by a girl who has just immediately experienced middle school. Burnham's visualization of adolescent anxieties is transcendent, to the point of being indicative of the everyday struggle of being human.

This film is so damn overwhelming, and managed to induce maximum cringe, rivaled only by the best episodes of Nathan For You and The Office. But Eighth Grade is much more than that, because it manages to juggle themes of self-love and self-realization with moments of extreme dread and terrifying suspense. I was so worried for Kayla's safety, well-being, and happiness through every single beat. Burnham is able to conceptualize seemingly trivial moments as intense setpieces with real stakes.

There's nothing that doesn't work in this film. I felt things that I didn't think a movie like this could make me feel, and I was completely transfixed and invested in every performance. With Eighth Grade, Bo Burnham has set a new standard for coming-of-age films. He has created something truly special that manages to tell a story from a very personal and empathetic point of view, speaking to the struggles of youth and of the information age in which we live.

I cannot wait to see what Bo does next. I am so happy that this is the next phase of his career, and that his genius is moving away from frustrated cynicism and into masterful filmmaking.

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