In 2015, 13-year-old Billie Eilish released a song called “Ocean Eyes” on SoundCloud that was co-written and produced by her older brother, Finneas O’Connell. Over 200,000 accounts heard “Ocean Eyes” in a mere two weeks. In 2017, she released her first EP, “Don’t Smile at Me,” which made it to no. 14 on the Billboard 200. But it was her debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” released March 2019, that truthfully catapulted Eilish into stardom. The album debuted at no.1 on the Billboard 200 and earned Eilish five Grammy wins in 2019, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist, making her the youngest artist and first woman to ever win the four main Grammy categories in the same year.
Billie Eilish’s documentary, “The World’s A Little Blurry,” directed by R.J. Cutler was released on February 25, 2021, on AppleTV. The two-hour and twenty-minute long documentary dives into every aspect of the making of her debut album, the touring that comes after and everything in between. The film takes us into the very mundane home Eilish shares with her brother, mother and father. Her brother Finneas is an integral part of Eilish’s music process, from co-writing to producing to mixing and mastering. The album was made entirely in Finneas’ bedroom, showing the siblings’ dynamic of complementing the other perfectly.
The film paints Eilish in a very candid light: a young adult who struggles with not wanting to mess-up, not feeling good enough and trying her best to manage her newfound fame. The most mesmerizing part of the documentary is how often you’re reminded and simultaneously forget that she is only 17 years old accomplishing everything she is doing. You’re seeing her write and record the new James Bond theme song, while also dealing with injuries, exhaustion and having her friends around. Performing sold-out shows in New York City while also trying to move on from a break-up, Billie Eilish continued to surprise and impress people with her maturity and normalcy at accomplishing everything she wanted to achieve.
The part of music Eilish loves the most is singing, and the documentary deeply features her breathtaking vocal ability that has been the most looked over. Her talent for harmonizing, her ability to somehow never be pitchy or off-key and the way her voice moves with the rhythm of her songs. The documentary goes into the ‘behind the scenes’ of the making of most songs on the album. The everyday sounds are hidden in “Bad Guy,” the debate about Billie’s honesty in “Listen Before I Go” and the raw harmonies between her and Finneas in “I Love You.” It was stunning to see the creation process of an album everybody knows but had no idea what went into it to make it.
Whatever it is that you know or don’t know about Billie Eilish, the film takes you into parts of her life nobody has seen before. From breaking up with a boyfriend nobody knew she had, to her getting her learner’s permit, to injuring her ankles from jumping too much on stage, it shares her experiences in the different stages of her life. As she finishes a tour, she goes straight to performing a full set at Coachella in a matter of days. Eilish shines in her unfiltered mentality with the way she approaches every aspect of her career. This documentary reaffirmed to everyone watching that Billie Eilish has earned her place in the spotlight, and all of her best is still yet to come.