Billie Eilish bursted on to the music scene in 2019 with her monster hit “Bad Guy”. Her silky, quiet voice over a catchy techno rhythm crossed genres and generations to make the song the biggest of 2019. Since “Bad Guy”, Eilish has blown up into one of the biggest music stars in the world at the young age of nineteen, having sold millions of records and winning countless awards. With Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry, director R.J. Cutler gives us a year-in-the-life front seat journey of Eilish’s journey to superstardom and it is spectacular journey that shows us who Eilish is on and off the stage.
The World’s a Little Blurry kicks off as “Bad Guy” is taking over the radio and finishes with Eilish sweeping the 2020 Grammy’s. Think Bradley Cooper’s A Star Born, but it starts after the performance of “Shallow” and ends with the Grammy wins, only The World’s a Little Blurry doesn’t feature anyone urinating themselves on stage while accepting an award. Cutler takes us all over the world with Eilish, from her tours in Europe and Australia to Coachella and mixes it with smaller more intimate moments of Eilish’s life as she bonds with her parents, works with her brother/producer, and deals with things teenagers deal with like getting a drivers license and relationship drama.
The concert footage is outstanding and shows who Eilish is an artist. Incredibly gifted and endlessly talented and passionate, Eilish wants to go out and give everything she has in every performance because she feels that what her fans deserve. She would rather not perform for them than not give them 100%. There is moment when Eilish is performing in Milan and within minutes of stepping on stage she slips and sprains her ankle. Eilish is upset, but not because she is physically hurt but because she won’t be able to be the stage presence she is used to being because she is confined to a walking boot. But through tears and pain, Eilish still gets on stage and gives everything she has. There is also Eilish’s Coachella performance, where she forgets the words to a new song while on stage and is disappointed and annoyed with her performance overall despite getting complimented by her family and the fans loving it. Like all great artists and competitors, Eilish strives for nothing less than perfection, an idea that seems so rare in today’s world.
The quieter, intimate moments of the film really show us a side of Eilish beyond what we see on stage and on talk shows. We see her relationship with her parents, who, even with a megastar as a daughter, are still worried about her driving to a recording studio alone with a new drivers license. We see her brother, Finneas, working with her on her music yet also being a great brother to his younger sister. Eilish also opens up about her battles with mental health, physical health, and the struggles of stardom. As fans and viewers, we often forget that people like Eilish are so young and have to deal with so much pressure on top of dealing regular teenage drama. Watching The World’s a Little Blurry, you are reminded that Eilish is still only a teenager and it’s amazing how well she handles the pressures of fame and we feel for her when it gets overwhelming. Though an energetic stage presence, Cutler shows us Eilish in a light we’ve never seen her in before
Billy Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry is a star-is-born documentary that gives us a full picture of a young artist still on the rise. At nearly two-and-a-half-hours, intermission included, Cutler paints a portrait of an entertainer and the duality of her life. She is full of life, love, and passion on stage, giving her fans everything that she has with every performance. But off stage, she’s a hard worker who spends time with her friends, family, and struggles with being alone and with mental health all while still navigating the world as a teenage. After watching this film, I gained a whole new level of respect and appreciation for Billy Eilish as a person and as an artist.
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