‘Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry’ Captures a Star on the Rise


“Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” (Courtesy Apple TV+)

By Oakley Burt, Arts Editor


When Billie Eilish first arrived on the music scene in 2015 with “Ocean Eyes,” I had no idea who she was, or how insanely talented she is. It would still take me a couple of years to discover who she was, as it wasn’t until my younger sister played “watch” on one of our drives. I remember being completely mesmerized by Eilish’s haunting voice and blown away that she was only about 16 years old. Now, almost six years after her first release, Eilish is a full-blown superstar with a Grammy Award-winning album under her belt — and a new documentary.

Released on Feb. 26, “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry” is an intimate look at the singer-songwriter’s rise to fame that chronicles the recording and touring of her 2019 debut album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” 

The Pressure Is On

“Blurry” opens with a home-video-style recording of a 13-year-old Eilish singing “Ocean Eyes” while her brother — and producer — Finneas plays the accompaniment on the piano. The documentary shows the song becoming a huge hit before fast-forwarding three years to the beginning stages of recording her debut album. 

Billie Eilish and Finneas at “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” live premiere. (Courtesy Apple | Photo by Koury Angelo)

This documentary doesn’t tell a story, it merely sits back and watches as one unfolds, and one does over the course of countless recording sessions in Eilish’s family home. We see the inspiration behind the album, fine-tuning of the tracks and Eilish’s struggle to write the “perfect” hit-song. As Eilish and Finneas are close to finalizing the album, Finneas grumbles, “I feel like I’ve been, like, told to write a hit, but I’ve been told to not tell Billie that we have to write a hit.”

Throughout this first half of “Blurry,” you can feel this tension building underneath the surface as greater expectations are placed on Eilish. 

Teens, Touring and Justin Bieber

Once “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” is released, the documentary shifts to Eilish’s life while touring the album. It’s easy to forget that she’s still a teenager, rising to fame and having to grow up with the public eye on her at all times while watching the documentary. The aforementioned tension eventually reaches a point where you can begin to see little fractures reach the surface. Eilish’s boyfriend — ex-boyfriend by the end — acts as if he couldn’t care less about her, despite her pleading for him to call her back; she sprains her ankle at a show in Milan and contemplates canceling it; then she is thrown to the wolves in an awkward photo-op/meet and greet with random executives and is berated on social media for her behavior during it.

Her pain is on full display for everyone to see, which is what fans see as she breaks down in tears while singing “i love you” on tour — still reeling from the breakup. But she never unravels in front of the cameras completely — an incredible feat, in my opinion. She holds herself together with the help of her tight-knit family and support from artists like Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber.

Billie Eilish at “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” live premiere. (Courtesy Apple | Photo by Koury Angelo)

References to Eilish’s love for Bieber are mentioned throughout the documentary, and she eventually meets him at Coachella in 2018 — striking up an adorable friendship. Bieber’s appearances in the documentary serve as a recurring reminder of the struggles of rising to meteoric fame at such a young age, and how easily it can go awry. 

Billie Eilish Uncovered

In roughly two-and-a-half hours, “Blurry” captures Eilish as she is in this moment — a modern popstar who’s vibrantly gothic, extremely creative, vulnerable and self-conscious about how she’ll be perceived. It’s an eye-opening look at the realities, restlessness and loneliness of teenage fame. 

“Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” is now streaming on Apple TV+.


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