Billie Eilish (aka Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell) first came to the music world’s attention in 2015 when the teenager uploaded her song “Ocean Eyes” to Soundcloud. But she didn’t capture my attention – or the cultural zeitgeist in general until she – of the green hair, baggy clothes and producer brother Finneas – swept the Grammys in 2020. Those two seminal moments bookend the new documentary about the quirky and talented singer-songwriter, now all of 19.
Award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler (Belushi, The September Issue) follows Eilish’s journey on the road, onstage, and at home with her supportive, tight-knit family while creating her debut album. It also tracks her angsty teen disposition, her intense crush on Justin Bieber, the joys of getting her drivers license and dream car, the disappointment of a failed relationship with a loser boyfriend (good riddance), and her love-hate relationship with songwriting and with fame.
I don’t think this documentary needed to exceed two hours (2:21). But at least it’s generally engaging and serves as a worthy introduction to – and documentation of – the rise of Billy Eilish and her music. It works on different levels for the uninitiated (like me) and for her devoted fans. It’s an interesting peek behind the personal and professional curtain of a star who will hopefully keep her head on (somewhat) straight and be around for years to come… and perhaps even grow into those baggy clothes! w/e.
Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry premieres exclusively on Apple TV+ on Feb. 26.