Bones and All
Ahhhh this movie was everything I wanted it to be and more. I don’t usually like these types of films that center around (and typically glorify) cannibalism, but this was an incredibly well-made film. If you haven’t heard of this film, Bones and All is a romance/drama starring Timothee Chalamet and Taylor Russel. The story follows two young cannibals navigating their condition, family, and love as they travel across the United States together. Marren, shunned by the only family she has is in search of her mother for answers. On her journey, she discovers that she is not the only one with this condition, and meets two people. One, an older man named Sully who gives her the creeps and another Lee, a boy her age whom she ends up tagging along with.
I love Luca Guadagnino's directing style, it is so beautiful to watch. It feels like it came right out of a painting. The use of colours like the pastels and the use of lighting were visually stunning. I also really liked the different camera angles that are not very common in movies today. I found the use of sound and music helped to convey emotion really well and added tension to the more gory or dialogue-driven scenes. Combined, this really plays with the viewer’s emotions and view of each character. What I love about Luca's style, is that everything always feels like it has a reason for being there. There is so much detail and everything has a meaning as if it was carefully placed into the scene. The setting and costume design was also really well done. I think Lee's clothing is really interesting to see how it changes with his character. For example, the difference between the beginning of the film and the time when they decide to live as normal people. The only thing about this film that I would change is as a Canadian I do not know all the state codes, so I found myself spending time guessing what state they were in. Whereas, if they could just write the whole state/city that they were in I would appreciate it for the non-American viewers.
The casting for this film is perfect. This was the first time I saw Taylor Russell in anything and she was amazing. I found out that she was Canadian, from Vancouver so that's always fun to see, and support. What I love about this film is that there are very few actors, so the whole project feels very small and intimate. I like that the focus is heavily on Marren and Lee so you really get to know them. I found that Mark Rylance’s portrayal of Sully was just terrifying. I think he did a great job taking a character like this and going all in with it because that is a hard role to play. I thought it was really interesting that Timothee Chalamet not only starred in the film but produced it. I think this film is a lovely reunion between Timothee and Luca and you really see how much they have grown since working together on Call Me By Your Name.
I like that the film is different than anything I have ever seen before. It's just so compelling and disturbing. I liked their approach to cannibalism as more of a condition or an illness, I think this was really critical to making this film work. I also liked how they didn’t do very gory eating scenes (more for my sanity since I don’t like gore). Most of this is done psychologically, with the use of sound in combination with other imagery so that you know what's happening but you don’t see it. And honestly, you don’t need to see them eating people because that's not really the point of the film. I think this is used to make them feel more human so that you can focus on the different layers and underlying messaging. It allows you to kind of form your own connections and makes your brain do some work. I like movies that force your brain to do some of the work. I like how it creates this back-and-forth of you want to root for them, but they do bad things so you don't want to root for them.
There are so many layers to this film and so many different dynamics. Including Marren and Lee’s relationship with each other, their relationship with their parents, or Lee's relationship with Kayla. I find it interesting how the movie presents each eater (cannibal) as having their own unique lifestyle and way of handling their condition. Each has its own set of rules about how they live their lives. It looks at how they normalize or come to terms with it. On Marren and Lee's journey, we see how they learn from each other and make each other better... but is it too late? are they bad people?
“You either eat, off yourself or lock yourself up in there like her”
Going into this film I was nervous because I can't handle a lot of gore and really didn’t know what to expect. But I was pleasantly surprised by the film and found it really moving. This film is a little bit twisted, but it's more than just a film about cannibalism and it's a great film. Very well made and I definitely recommend it. Most people I know don’t even know that this film exists, so to me, it feels like a real hidden gem. I love this story, I think it is unique and beautiful in its own weird and at times gross way.