Eighth Grade: Will the film receive any Oscar nominations?

Eighth Grade, A24. Photo courtesy A24 via EPK.tv
Eighth Grade, A24. Photo courtesy A24 via EPK.tv /

Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade has received universal acclaim for its script and lead performance by Elsie Fisher. Will the coming of age film receive any Oscar nominations?

The film that is sweeping the hearts of the nation is Eighth Grade. In his feature film writing and directorial debut, Bo Burnham successfully captured what it’s like to grow up in the digitial age of 2018. From social anxiety to fitting in, the film is a heartfelt letter to adolescence.

Eighth Grade stars Elsie Fisher as Kayla Day, a shy and sweet eighth grader who suffers from social anxiety. The film is the story of Kayla’s last few days in the eighth grade, which has been a rocky road all year. Kayla does not have many friends and would do anything to fit in. To combat her social life, Kayla creates an alternative personality on social media through her YouTube videos, which aim to help others that struggle with nerves and friendship.

This film is not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s brutally honest in its depiction of social media, anxiety, and sexual issues. Eighth Grade will make you cringe at times because of its awkwardness. The pool party, a conversation about oral sex, and a disturbing game of truth or dare will make you want to turn away. However, these elements are an accurate representation of what goes on in the lives of 13-year-olds, no matter what era you were in.

Eighth Grade, A24. Photo courtesy A24 via EPK.tv /

Because of the widespread acclaim, many critics believe Eighth Grade can be a sleeper hit at the Oscars, drawing comparisons to last year’s critical darling, Lady Bird. There are three performances from Eighth Grade to keep an eye on this awards season. They are Josh Hamilton as Mark Day, Fisher as Kayla, and Burnham behind the camera.

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Let’s start with Hamilton, who played the sweet and overbearing single father to Kayla. All Mark wants is the best for his daughter so it pains him to see her struggling when all he sees is a beautiful and charming woman. His climatic speech towards the end of the movie about love and growing up won’t leave a dry eye in the theater. Hamilton could snag a Best Supporting Actor nomination in lesser awards shows, but it will be difficult to breakthrough at the Oscars.

The actor with a better chance at receiving a nomination is Elsie Fisher. Fisher gave a tour-de-force performance as the awkward star of the film. Her timidness and anxiety attacks made the viewer want to jump through the screen, give her a hug, and let her know that everything will be alright. There’s no doubt Fisher will be a popular selection on the independent awards scene, but like Hamilton, it will be tough to receive one of the five acting nominations. If Fisher does receive a nomination for Best Actress, she will be the third youngest nominee ever in the category.

Hamilton and Fisher are long shots, but Bo Burnham is a frontrunner in Best Original Screenplay. Burnham’s script is raw, honest, brutal, and accurate. It will make you laugh, cry, and cheer within the 94 minute timeframe.

The fact that Eighth Grade was Burnham’s first feature film makes this accomplishment even more special. It’s possible that Burnham will follow in the footsteps of Greta Gerwig, who received a screenplay and directing nomination last year. Best Director will still be debated for the rest of the year, but right now, Burnham is in the driver’s seat for original screenplay.

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Will Eighth Grade receive any Oscar nominations? Leave your predictions in the comments below or tweet me @danny_giro!