Today: May 26, 2024

Bones And All

Genre is a funny old thing. On the one hand it helps guide us, knowing what kind of tropes a film is going to use to ensure we know what type of film we’re watching is comforting. But when someone comes along and skews genre it can often lead to something either special or ‘what the hell did you just watch?’

Thankfully Bones And All is not the latter. But if you go in expecting horror then you’re in for a shock, and not the horror kind.

Maren (Taylor Russell) is a young girl who at a sleepover does something that she probably shouldn’t. Upon arriving home covered in blood her father immediately packs their bags and they’re out of there. But when he leaves her, providing her with a small amount of cash and a tape recording of her violent life up to this point, Maren starts to encounter people like her. First there’s Sully (Mark Rylance), a man who has clearly been alone for a little too long and then there’s Lee (Timothée Chalamet). Before long Maren and Lee have struck up a friendship and are on the road together.

Director Luca Guadagnino does love to conjure that butterfly feeling in your stomach of young love. With his stunning Call Me By Your Name he certainly has form, especially with Chalamet in front of his camera. Bones And All captures that same energy, that wistful beauty of stunning scenery capturing the blossoming affections the lead characters have for each other.

This is first and foremost a coming of age romance. Guadagnino is far more interested in investigating that feeling of teenage yearning in which you feel like no one quite understands how important you are to each other. The world might be against you, there might even be those out there who think they get it, but they don’t. It’s at these moments when Bones And All is gorgeous. It sweeps over you in a very powerful way. Think Twilight but, you know, actually evocative rather than sparkly.

But as much as he’s interested in the love side of things, Guadagnino likes to study the darker side of it. And it is here that the ‘horror’ of Bones And All is a subtle motif. The way in which it integrates into all of Maren’s relationships, the good, the bad and the ugly. It is something ever present but something that has to be accepted, that in every relationship there’s some things that have to be kept hidden.

A fascinating and delicate love story that will make you swoon but never make you feel sick, Bones And All gets right to the heart of romance.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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