Jason Escamilla reviews BILLIE EILISH: THE WORLD’S A LITTLE BLURRY, which will premiere in select theaters and globally on Apple TV + today, February 26, 2021. Directed by R. J. Cutler #BillieEilishMovie? #TheWorldsALittleBlurry
Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry is a documentary directed by R.J. Cutler and gives us a behind the scenes look at how singer-songwriter Billie and her brother Finneas O'Connell created their hit album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.
Billie is depicted as a pessimistic teen and self-critical artist who constantly complains about the struggles of making music, specifically song-writing. Audiences will like how real and raw the film is but may frown upon Billie’s excessive negativity. "I'm not happy so why would I write about happy things?," Billie rhetorically asks. The film never really sheds a huge light on what's causing her sadness. She did become physically hurt and had to give up dancing. Nonetheless, she has a supportive family and so many opportunities. I am happy the film did decide to show a real flawed humane side to the (at the time) 15-16 year old teen, but the complaining went a bit too far. Some of it could have been cut.
The film is over two hours and it knows it's too long, as it even gives the audience a designated intermission. The film puts everything that any fan might find remotely interesting from the struggles of creating music to the birth of creative ideas for songs / videos coming to fruition, and the slow rise to fame among the likes of Katy Perry (who graciously tells Eilish, "I'm here for you if you need anything; I know how the industry can be.") to her all-time favorite childhood idol, Justin Bieber. It is admittingly charming to see a young unknown Billie say how obsessed she is with Bieber and it's interesting to see her grow up to not only meet but collaborate with him.
Cutler and editor Lindsey Utz do piece the story of ambitious siblings together extremely effectively. Several scenes of the duo's early days had me wondering, "Did they actually film themselves early on or were these scenes re-created to reflect what happened?" The film slowly moves forward but you do feel advancement, especially by the end where at the 2020 Grammy Awards, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? wins Album of the Year, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical- the single "Bad Guy" won Record of the Year and Song of the Year; Finneas also won the award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.
As someone who is a fan and owns Eilish’s hit record, I found the siblings' story to be interesting enough to recommend other fans. The duo do in fact work hard and despite the challenges (and complaints from Eilish) are creative, quirkishly unique, and talented. For those not already invested in the music, they may want to skip this. The documentary is littered with info I think caters primarily to people who already love the music and/or Billie as a person.
|Final Verdict:||Audiences will like how real and raw the film is but may frown upon Billie’s excessive negativity.|