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Eighth Grade (2018) - Top 5 Facts!

VO: Lisa Yang WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Script written by Savannah Sher Is this the next best coming of age story? Eight Grade is about the awkwardness that is middle school and it currently holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes! Directed by renowned stand up comedian Bo burnham, this movie is definitely so relatable for teens everywhere. For this list, we’re looking at some of the most interesting info about this upcoming film.

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Top 5 Facts About Eighth Grade (2018)

This is the coming of age story we need. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 5 Facts About Eighth Grade (2018).

For this list, we’re looking at some of the most interesting info about this upcoming film.

#5: It's Created by Bo Burnham

Since he emerged onto the scene in 2006, the uber-talented Bo Burnham has been many things: viral YouTuber, singer-songwriter, rapper, comedian, even poet. But as of 2018, he’s adding a few new credits to his resume. He surprised his fans when he announced that he would be releasing a feature length film . . . and that it wouldn’t even feature his music or comedy. In fact, the middle-school story of “Eighth Grade” (more on that in a minute) seems like quite a departure for Burnham. He both wrote and directed the film though, so it’s clearly a labor of love for him.

#4: It Was Originally Going to Be an Ensemble Piece

When first imagining the direction in which a story would go, Burnham had initially envisioned that the film that ultimately became “Eighth Grade” would feature many characters. Burnham said, in an interview with Filmmaker Magazine, “I better do some big, sprawling thing.” In the end though, the single character of middle schooler Kayla, played by young Elsie Fisher (who you may know as Agnes from the “Despicable Me” movies), was the one he felt the most compelled by, so he decided to focus almost entirely on her, rather than attempting something more crowded with lead characters.

#3: The Plot Focuses on a Very Specific Time Period

While many coming of age stories are sprawling, attempting to cover large swaths of time in order to attempt to show a character’s development, some of the best ones put a laser-like focus on one particularly formative time period. In “Eighth Grade”, Bo Burnham decided to go with the latter strategy, and the entirety of the action takes place during, yes, eighth grade. It’s Kayla’s final week of middle school, as she prepares herself mentally for the next big transition point in her life: high school. So much action is packed into one week that it feels longer, but isn’t that how things go when you’re that age?

#2: The Dialogue is Not Improvised

Many moments in the film feel so natural that it’s understandable to assume that the director had his youthful actors ad-lib their scenes, but in fact the entire script is tightly scripted. In the opening scene, where Kayla is filming a vlog on her laptop, her awkward and stilted speech seems so real because Burnham requested all of the pauses and “likes” that Elsie Fisher inserted into her dialogue. In fact, the opening scene was inspired by Burnham watching young people’s videos and transcribing everything they said. He wrote his own version of their speaking styles, and that eventually became Kayla’s vlog.

#1: It Has a 100% Score on Rotten Tomatoes

On January 19, 2018, “Eighth Grade” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and since its initial viewings, the reviews have been nothing but glowing. In fact, as of April 2018, the film holds the coveted honor of having a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Now, that’s not necessarily a guarantee of quality, but it’s a hella big indicator. The movie’s been reviewed by 31 critics and counting, with one writer calling it, “A lovely, truthful comedy about the pure nightmare that is junior high.” Another said, “Bo Burnham's directorial debut is a marvelous subversion of expectations.” Clearly, this is definitely a movie you won’t want to miss.

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