Apple TV+ Review: 'Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry' brings the iconic singer into focus
Billie Eilish is about the biggest star on the planet at the moment, the singer/songwriter sensation who at age 15, uploaded a song to SoundCloud ("Ocean Eyes") and went on to become one of the most iconic and beloved stars of her generation. Her second album, 2019's "When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" was one of the best-selling album of 2019, with her number-one hit "Bad Guy" going platinum ten-times-over.
She's won two American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards and five Grammys...becoming the youngest and only the second-ever to sweep the four major Grammy categories - Best New Artist, Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year - in a single year (if you're wondering who the first person to do this was, it was Christopher Cross in 1980).
Eilish did all this before turning 19...and the most fascinating part of her deeply-compelling, revealing new documentary, "Billie Eilish: The World's A Little Blurry" (debuting on Apple TV+ on Feb. 26th), is just how glaringly adolescent Eilish still is. Despite being responsible for lyrics and vocals far beyond her years, we see Billie having boy trouble, getting her driver's license, handling the tremendous physical and emotional pressures that come with fame and fortune, and obsessing about Justin Bieber.
In other words, she's just your average teenager, other than the fact that Billie Eilish's talents as an artist are anything but average.
The documentary puts you up close and personal with Billie, her older brother and musical partner Finneas (who also happens to be a Grammy-winning producer), and her parents Patrick and Maggie. There are no "talking-heads," and the immersive style of the film really makes you feel like you are peeking far behind the curtain into Billie's life.
If most success stories feature a "rise and fall," Billie has yet to experience the fall. Eilish encapsulates everything about today's youth, a person who herself came to idolize and worship a YouTube sensation-turned-superstar, Justin Bieber. In explaining her love of Justin, she details how he makes his fan-base feel like way more than just fans. Eilish in turn, relates and thrives off of her rabid fan-base in ways that few other artists ever have, connecting in ways that she is both proud and protective of.
Those that know her know that her brother Finneas is every bit an equal partner in Billie's success and her career. The film shows them tirelessly working on music in their quaint little "studio," which doubles as a room in their parent's house. Her hit "studio" album was not produced in a studio at all. She represents the DIY generation, and as they go from giggling siblings to a powerhouse producing pair, little within that room changes.
Her relationship with her supportive parents is also front-and-center. They are always there, giving just the right amount of support and allowing their children to flourish in ways that they might have only ever dreamed of.
Watching "Billie Eilish: The World Is A Little Blurry," you'll be reminded of other music-biographies, but there has never quite been this interesting of a personality on display, which makes the experience wholly gratifying. Eilish is unique in more ways than one, and she is a captivating - if tortured - soul that never provides a dull moment to the camera. She is vulnerable and authentic to her core, even if we know that at her age, she is still in the process of finding and coming to terms with herself, and who she is. There are also plenty of worse ways (and artists) to spend two-plus hours of a documentary with.
Fans of Billie Eilish are in for a real treat, as they've never quite been given this level of access to the most important figure in their lives. Those curious about who she is or who are crawling out from underneath a rock to discover her for the first time, will be blown away by her.
For Billie, the world may be a little blurry, but this charming and heartfelt documentary brings her life into focus. The best news of all is that she's just getting started.
Genre: Music, Documentary, Biography.
Run Time: 2 hours 20 minutes.
Directed by R.J. Cutler ("Belushi," "A Perfect Candidate").
"Billie Eilish: The World's A Little Blurry" is available on Apple TV+ on Friday, February 26th, 2021.
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