If comedy is best pulled from trauma, there are few moments in one’s life more distressingly rich to mine from than middle school. With his directorial debut Eighth Grade, comedian-turned-director Bo Burnham, now more than a decade removed for proper reflection, depicts the specific time period with all the spot-on crippling anxiety and all-consuming awkwardness. Ahead of a summer release from A24, the first trailer has now arrived.
I said in my review from Sundance, “Burnham’s comedy has always been adept at exploring human insecurities, so it’s no surprise he zeroes in on the overwhelming emotional vulnerability that afflicts young teens. For Kayla, it’s not so much that the more popular kids bully her, but rather it’s a lack of self-esteem that drives the pathos of the drama.”
See the trailer and poster below for the film starring Elsie Fisher and Josh Hamilton.
Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school—the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year—before she begins high school.
Eighth Grade opens on July 13.