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Bones and All

“I want you to eat me…bones and all.”

From “Suspiria” and “Call Me by Your Name” director Luca Guadagnino, “Bones and All” is the tale of two young cannibals named Maren and Lee who embark on a road trip across the country, developing love and feelings for one another along the way. Cannibals? Yes, you read that correctly…cannibals. Think Bonnie & Clyde, but instead of robbing banks, these two eat people on their voyage across the United States.

Maren (Taylor Russell) is a young girl in 1980s Virginia who has moved around a time or two due to her father’s insistence that she shake her past and try to be a typical teenager for once. Seven minutes into the movie, Maren attempts to eat one of her new friend’s fingers, so her father forces her to get the fuck out of town. Alone and without structure, Maren comes across Sully (Mark Rylance, weird as ever), a fellow cannibal who teaches her how to squat in people’s homes and kill them. While the two munch down on a 90-year-old grandmother, Maren decides she needs more in her worldview and breaks away from Sully’s lifestyle.

She encounters another fellow cannibal in pink-haired Lee (Timothée Chalamet), and the two take to the open road in search of happiness and punk rock love. Lee is the rebel Maren always shied away from, but their thirst for one another is too pure and strong. They meet plenty of strange folks during their drive, and Maren goes through a lot of self-reflection about her past, future, and familial relationships that feed into her subconscious. But in the end, all that’s left is Maren and Lee’s bond, which is never broken, unless they eat each other before their road trip concludes.

At times “Bones and All” is heartbreaking and seductive, but even if you know going in that it’s about cannibalism, the movie is still wildly disgusting. The addictive romantic entanglement at the heart of the film doesn’t overshadow the attempt to suspend disbelief enough, even when the emotional roller coaster is set to the beat of composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. There are times when the film is hauntingly beautiful, especially in its cinematography from Arseni Khachaturan. Ultimately, the story of disregarded freaks living in a small-minded world doesn’t shine over the gruesome odyssey the two lead characters find themselves driving through.

Most of the performances in “Bones and All” are powerful, down to the minor characters played by André Holland, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Chloë Sevigny. Taylor Russell is the standout in a film not worth much time for its depiction of people eating, although there will be critics who disagree. The movie is based on a book of the same name by Camille DeAngelis, which many will say deals heavily with issues about feminism and self-loathing. The film adaptation does its best to convey these themes, and it sometimes succeeds, but I was too grossed out to care.

Sorry y'all, this one just wasn’t for me.

Ticket Rating: 🎟🎟


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