Bones and All: A Lot to Digest


Bones and All teaser

Hannah Yacob

Bones and All, Luca Guadagnino’s newly released film in theaters this November, stars Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet as cannibals traveling across the midwest in search of the mother of Maren, Russell’s character. This is the italian director’s first American based movie. Most notably he was behind Call Me By Your Name in 2017 and Suspiria in 2018, with many claiming that Bones and All is a combination of both, merging romance and horror. 

Adapted from the novel of the same title by Camille DeAngelis, it is translated to the screen with the addition of creative liberties and Guadagnino makes the story his own. Right away the audience is introduced to Maren’s cannibalistic nature and the actions her father takes to protect her. When she is abandoned by her father early on it is understood why, without feeling like the plot has been rushed. On her journey she first meets Sully, played by Mark Rylance, an older cannibal who sought her out and the person who made Maren accept her true nature. After swiftly leaving him behind she meets Lee, a man her age who she finds a friend in that later leads to romance, another aspect of the story that creates emotional elements. 

The film was made in a road trip style as Maren and Lee crossed state lines together. Each character they meet along the way is intentional as Maren learns more about cannibals and how others have existed besides her. Guadagnino uses landscape, individual shots, and intentional overlay to create the aesthetic of the film which is unique and beautiful. The score manages to add a significant amount of tension but also background for lighthearted young romance that emphasizes the duality of the movie. Emotions rise and fall throughout and the end leaves the audience unaware of how to feel about what they just watched. 

Russell and Chalamet were crutches for each other throughout filming and relied on each other to give their best performances while acting across the other. Russell specifically has been praised for her performance in the role and it is expected this movie will rocket her career because of her showcase of talent. Both Maren and Lee’s home lives are delved into and through this the characters are made even more complex than they already are. Cannibalism was used as a fantastical vehicle for the tragedy of the movie more than it was supposed to reflect cannibalism in the actual world.

Already winning both Guadagnino and Russell accolades at the Venice Film Festival where it debuted, much more recognition has been given as it has been released to critics and the public. All in all, and avoiding spoiling the film, Bones and All is a refreshingly unique story that truly reflects the skills of all the people who went into making it and has everyone excited for their next projects.