Bones and All

Bones and All ★★★★½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Armie Hammer is rolling in his grave rn

What makes Bones and All work is how malleable it is. There’s so many angles to approach it from, but there’s never one clear one. It can be read as literal cannibal love story, or as an allegory for addition or repression of sexuality. The movie is broad enough that all of these things can be interpreted and still be legitimised.

Personally the way that I see it is that the cannibalism is this genetically passed down trait and its presence is intrinsically connected to generational trauma. It’s Maren’s whole arc of defining and accepting herself on her own terms and not holding on to the approval of her parents or her past traumas. Lee also has this conflicted mentality of being unsure if he’s a good person, running from this feeling that he’s just a reflection of his father. And the reason they both understand each other and ultimately fall in love is because they both understand each others struggles and traumas, and thus love each other regardless of that. And this also connects with Sully, who despite his creepy-ness, just wants to be loved.
To me that’s how it felt but there’s also characters like the weird redneck guys or the whole morality angle of killing people, and the sexual connection with it all that adds so much more dimensions to it all.

Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet just totally give it their all, able to really sell both their individual characters and their intrinsic connection. They’re both fairly grounded, surrounded by a cast of insane supporting performances that really create this weird unsettling tone to the whole movie. Not quite horror, not quite romance, something in the middle.

Guadagnino just totally understands how to play this story. It’s aware of how bizarre it can be, but also runs with it and manages to make two characters who basically are just cannibals because they have to be really likeable and natural. He understands character intimacy very very well and creates really stunning moments that just floor you emotionally. Like the final 15 minutes is just a rollercoaster of emotion in such a wonderfully directed way.

The score adds this classic romance feel that helps support that tonal balance. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross make a score that jumps between soft and romantic to harsh and crunchy (much like the sound design work in this film, which is phenomenally gruesome). They even have an original song (which took me a second to realise was part of their work and not a soundtrack song), but the way that’s used in the film is just so powerful and shows again how Luca Guadagnino has such a command with musical direction for his films.

While I don’t think it’s a perfect slam dunk of a film, I think it’s a bold swing from Guadagnino and it totally landed for me. It’s a combination of the tenderness and melancholy of Call Me By Your Name with the brutalist, violent horror of Suspiria, and it somehow all meshes together.

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