Eighth Grade (2018)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama


Eighth Grade (2018) Poster

An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school.


7.4/10
57,737

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21 July 2019 | soundoflight
8
| Hard Truths
I wasn't going to review this film until I read the other reviews. But the way a large number of people so negatively react to this film is a testament to how powerful it really is, and perhaps says more about the film than those reviews themselves ever could.

We live in a world that hates the truth. And "Eighth Grade" is pure truth. The most remarkable thing about the film is how it refrains from dramatizing how young people today grow up and interact, and instead tries to simply show things how they are. You can argue how successful they were in this attempt, but I think they got it pretty close. And some things about growing up are timeless. While the technology may have changed, all of the things Kayla did in the film, I also did at that age. I also came from a broken home and background of trauma, and I was also not popular. One review said that you had to be a loser to like this film, and maybe there is more than a nugget of truth there. The kid who was head of the class in Grade 8 might have a tough time relating.

The film does very little to explain all this to the viewer, and does not make any attempt to show why Kayla is how she is. This is fascinating because that is exactly how our society, and in particular teen society, works: it is blind to why people are how they are, and simply ruthlessly sorts them into categories such as attractive/popular and ugly/unpopular. It seems that people who are used to going along with this way of thinking are puzzled and unsettled by the film.

What "Eighth Grade" ultimately is, is a mirror. It simply reflects back to us what our world is. There is no editorialization. So when so many people are recoiling in horror from a mirror, what does that actually say?

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