Luca Guadagnino’s cannibalistic coming of age drama Bones And All, a story of young adults looking for their place in the world. Craving not just the delights of the world but eating it’s inhabitants too. Giving ‘fingering’ a whole new meaning.
Taylor Russell stars in this one along side Timothee Chalamet as our star crossed lovers. Russell plays Maren a young woman who lives on the road with her father (Andre Holland, Moonlight, Selma). The film opens up with Marin making friends with some girls of a similar age to her. They invite Marin to their Motel room, her father refuses. She does sneak out the window of their room over to her new friends.
Something bad happens and Maren returns bloody and her father saying “You’ve done it again”. The pair quickly escape to another town only for Marin’s father to go on the run. Leaving some cash, a note, birth certificate and a cassette tape which becomes the narration for the film. This pushes her to go and find her birth mother, learning she’s not alone.
She meets Lee (Chalamet), a disenfranchised drifter and the pair hit the back roads. To find her mother, before the pair meet Maren meets Sully (Mark Rylance). Who educates her that she is a cannibal, craves flesh and you can smell other people like her.
Guadagnino directed Call You By My Name and divisive Suspiria reboot. He teams up once again with David Kajganich who is a regular screenwriter for the director. Award winning Nine Inch Nails duo Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross cprovide the film’s score.
Certain films that debut at film festivals worldwide are suited just for festivals. Many will be critically acclaimed, that doesn’t mean they will be just as popular when they get released cinematically. Bones And All (which is based on Camille DeAngelis book of the same name) premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It got a 10 minute standing ovation when you watch the film, you might wonder whats all the fuss. It doesn’t mean this is a terrible film, the festive hyperbole has risen expectations.
We get a multitude of tropes with this one. A film that dips it’s toe into the horror genre, but it’s not a full on horror. The blood and guts is kept to a bare minimum with a mix of romance, drama, and a liberating road movie.
Bones And All is a beautifully shot film which is full of atmosphere. Visually in a style similar to Terrence Malick film that could also fall into the pages of a Stephanie Meyer Twilight novel.
Mark Rylance and Michael Stuhlbarg are great as much as they are very creepy. Rylance’s Sulley teaches the viewer the basics of the craving and been a cannibal. Chalamet’s Lee unearths a different type of Cannibal, Taylor is fantastic as Marin
Bones And All is no masterpiece, nor is it a terrible film. It’s just too long and there’s probably a 90 minute film in there somewhere. That’s not Guadagnino’s style, concision is not a word in the filmmaker’s vocabulary.
Our young lovers want to be fine young cannibals, and the film encourages the true self to come out. If you do want to enjoy a cannibalistic coming of age film Julia Ducournau’s Raw and Claire Dennis Trouble Every day do things better. And with more conviction.
Drama | USA, 2022 | 15 | Cinema | Universal Pictures | Dir. Luca Guadagnino | Taylor Russell, André Holland, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Jessica Harper, Sean Bridgers, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Gordon Green