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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

‘Eighth Grade’ to open Friday at Magic Lantern

It's hard to think that a 28-year-old guy (his birthday is today) would be the best person to make a film about a girl facing her final week of eighth grade. But Bo Burnham is no ordinary guy.

A YouTube sensation as a teen, a recording artist before he was 20 and a standup comic of some renown, Burnham chose to write and direct a movie — his first feature film — about the trials and challenges of social media. And to use said girl (played by the preciously charming newcomer Elsie Fisher) as his protagonist.

The result, titled simply enough "Eighth Grade," just finished its first run in Spokane at AMC River Park Square. It now opens on Friday at the Magic Lantern, which is a far better fit, playing alongside such alt-moviehouse fare as the documentaries "Won't You Be My Neighbor," "RBG" and "Three Identical Strangers" plus the narrative features "Leave No Trace" and "Sorry About That."

Boasting a 98 percent fresh rating on the critical website Rotten Tomatoes (87 percent among audiences), "Eighth Grade" is one of those films that is bound to receive some Oscar recognition at the end of the year. (If not, it will be a crime against art.)

Whatever happens, though, "Eighth Grade" remains one of the most intelligent, illuminating and touching films ever made about adolescence. See if it you can.