Review by Camden Ferrell
Bones and All is the first feature film from director Luca Guadagnino since his 2018 remake of Suspiria. Based on the novel of the same name by Camille DeAngelis and written by David Kajganich, this story finds Guadaningo back in provocative form. Blending Americana with the unflinching gore of this unusual love story, this movie manages to pack an emotional punch while still giving viewers an experience to remember.
Maren is a young woman who winds up alone after her affinity for human flesh finds her on the run. Now, she must traverse the United States in search of her absent mother while learning more about other “eaters” and the struggles they share. Along the way, she meets Lee, another lone eater and together, they embark on a journey together where they find love while dealing with their own carnal desires. This is a simple premise made unique by its intense angle, themes, and content.
The script is quite strong from start to finish. There are a few pieces of dialogue that don’t always work or feel out of place, but for the most part, it does a great job at feeling natural yet compelling at the same time. It tackles the subject matter with maturity and delicacy, and it is able to work with its outlandish premise without making a mockery of it.
The performances in this movie are amazing throughout. This movie is led by Taylor Russell who has proven her prowess in movies like Waves. In this movie, she is able to shine in the spotlight more and show off the depth of her abilities. Timothée Chalamet co-leads in the movie, and he gives a strong performance, but it doesn’t really compare to the abilities of the other actors in the movie. Both Mark Rylance and Michael Stuhlbarg give extremely strong and memorable performances despite not having the most screen time.
Guadagnino has an unflinching eye that works perfectly with this movie. He is able to find the beauty and heartbreaking awe to be found in a gruesome and bloody story. There are many graphic depictions of cannibalism that are so raw and powerful which benefit greatly from his bold style as a director. In addition to this, the movie features some gorgeous cinematography and a strong score to give it the feeling of Americana movies like Badlands.
Bones and All is not for the squeamish but those who are able to withstand its gore and violence will be treated to a beautiful story of love and trauma. It features great performances, gorgeous cinematography and a slow but meticulous pace that will reward those who are patient and open-minded to one of the most unique movies of the year.
Bones and All is in theaters November 18.