Imagine 1980s America, roadtripping as a fine young cannibal teen, with your ride or die… I mean, let’s fucking go – amirite? Italian film maker Luca Guadagnino, who brought us “Call Me By Your Name” strikes again with this beautifully crafted film. “Bones and All” follows the adventures of the ‘eaters’ (cannibals), the two main characters Lee, played by Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell as Maren. We are first introduced to Maren, a seemingly “normal” teen living with her single dad. She slips out of the house to a friends sleepover party, when the girls get intimate Maren takes a bite of her gal pals finger. Oh yes, this is how it begins, no giveaways because we see it in the trailer. Maren panics and runs home to her dad, who quickly grabs all their belongings to head out to the next place. Later her Dad gets overwhelmed by the lifestyle and leaves Maren to her own devices, giving her a birth certificate and points her in the direction of her long lost mother, played by Chloë Sevigny. Maren sets off in search of her mother and meets ‘eaters’ along the way. First she encounters a creepy guy named Sully played by Mark Rylance. Sully is also an ‘eater’ and hopes to teach Maren the ways of the world while relying on her companionship. He brings her to a house where he is starting to feed on an old lady who lived there. They feast together. Maren leaves Sully to continue her journey but Sully was not done with her. Sully had the ultimate lines through this film, best one was funny and creepy all at once: “It’s never dully with Sully”. Maren eventually meets the scrawny Lee (Timothée Chalamet) and the two developed a connection through sharing their family traumas and their own search of love and security. They navigate the world together in search of their loved ones and home.
“Bones and All” is based on the book by Camille DeAngelis, which I will be looking to read very soon! The film was beautifully shot by Cinematographer Arseni Khachaturan. You leave this film wanting to travel the country from dusk till dawn. The soundtrack… let’s talk about how the music was so perfect in every way. The original score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, both brilliant in their own right. The album track list includes “Lick It Up” by Kiss to Leonard Cohen’s “You Want It Darker” And yes, Timothée was amazing but I’m absolutely here for actress Taylor Russel who was nothing short of phenomenal. Bones and All is super sensual in the most morbid, best way ever. While it took me some time, I realized I actually fucking loved the film. It is dark and dreamy and reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde. It’s gory and poetic – two things I love separately but together. Be still my emo heart! The film’s openly queer characters and sexual confidence that illuminates the screen is what we need more of these days. It had moments where I wanted it to get even more raw, but was almost walking on the safety line. Maybe that is my reckless side talking. It wasn’t necessarily dully but I was hoping for something a little more wild. Don’t let me lose you, I’m just a weirdo like that. Most folks will find this film to be just the right amount of bizarreness and that’s fine, to each his own. I needed more here. Here’s the thing, while it took me some time to digest Bones and All (haha, see what I did there?) I was able to conclude that it was just the artistic horror film I’ve been searching for for a long time. Go see this!!
Cast: Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Andre Holland, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jessica Harper, Madeleine Hall, Kendel Coffey
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Cinematographer: Arseni Khachaturan
Screenplay written by: David Kajganich
Score: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross