Bones and All is a story of first love between Maren, a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee, an intense and disenfranchised drifter; a liberating road odyssey of two young people coming into their own, searching for identity and chasing beauty in a perilous world that cannot abide who they are.

What We Thought:

Part of me liked Bones and All. Part of me did not. I’ll do my best to explain without spoiling anything you wouldn’t know if you know the story or have seen the trailer.

Go back up and read that synopsis real quick. Sounds like your typical Young Adult storyline of finding love while finding yourself. If you read me enough you know nothing about that sounds like something I’d watch. I’m not a YA guy. I didn’t even know this was based on a book at first. Why did I see it then?

They are cannibals. Come again? Yep cannibals. It’s a cannibal love story people! Taylor Russell’s Maren attacks a fellow student at a new school and her and her dad are on the move again. Maren eventually finds herself alone and through a cassette tape from her father she learns of her past. She hits the road trying to find her mother and runs into others like her. There she meets Mark Rylance in an absolutely over-the-top bananas performance and Timothée Chalamet, the classic bad boy with the pretty looks who of course she falls for.

It’s the YA side of things I could do without. I’m well beyond the age of being into these stories, but I do understand why people of a certain age like them. Russell (from the underrated Escape Room) and Chalamet are attractive and look cute together. He even wears a cool Thundercats t-shirt because the story takes place in the 1980s.

But the stuff I like is the gore. Hidden in the latest Twilight/The Hunger Games style flick is some great effects and gore with people eating other people. If all YA stories (like the ones I mentioned) were more graphic like this I’d be into them, but alas most are about the love story and the horror elements are secondary.

It’s the sharp contrast between the two which won’t work for some people. At points it’s about two young people on the road discovering who they are. Then they stop to eat (pun intended). She learns tricks to find others like her. They try to have rules about who to eat and when things go sideways, their relationship goes sideways as well.

If you know nothing about Bones and All you might think I’m making this up, but everything I said is true. Because of that I’m not sure how this film will be received. The fangirls/fanboys looking to watch the latest Timothée Chalamet movie will be horrified at what they are watching. Same for YA fans that aren’t familiar with the book who expect monsters to sparkle not eat old ladies. Those wanting a cannibal movie will be bored with the love story. It’s too well made and it’s pretty well acted to be bad plus Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross do the score so it sounds cool. If you want a YA road travelling story of self discovery with a side of cannibalism well this is perfect for you.

Directed by: Luca Guadagnino

Screenplay by: David Kajganich

Based on: the novel by Camille DeAngelis

Music by: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

Cast: Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, André Holland, Chloë Sevigny, David Gordon Green, Jessica Harper, Jake Horowitz, and Mark Rylance

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