Bones and All [Grade: 69.16%]

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Story By: David Kajganich (adapted from Camille DeAngelis)

Cast: Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Anna Cobb, André Holland, & Chloë Sevigny

* * *

I had so much hope for this film… BUT…not every story deserves to be a feature length. 

* * *

Theme & Story: C

Pacing: C

Character: A

Overall “Paper” Score: B-

* * *

Entertainment Factors

General Public: Don’t Watch

Non-traditional Love Story Fans: Wait for Streaming

Experience Seekers (Visuals & Score): Wait for Streaming

Overall “Viewing Experience” Score: Don’t Watch

* * *

TAKEAWAYS:

1. A teenager living/dealing with unexplainable anthropophagy is forced to take a road trip in order to get answers from her bloodline, but finds love and others like her along the way. This is Bones and All. 

There were quite a few themes that this film throws around, but one that stood out most for me focused on family/connection, and this idea that connections established through trauma / built on trauma bonding comes with consequences—both positive and negative. All in all, this theme was executed in a pretty decent way to me. 👍🏾👍🏾

The strength of this film for me is Act Two where the story really focuses on the bonding between our main characters, and the role their particularly genetic urge plays in said bonding, in addition to their interactions with others. 👍🏾

In terms of where the story fell short for me, it would be the clarity via the writing. Yes, the topic at hand is one that can be understandably difficult to really explain, but the story surrounds itself in a lot of scenery and dialogue that ironically fail to really show or tell anything interesting in order for the story to feel more seamless and engaging.🤷🏾‍♂️

2. There were a lot of isolated stills/moments that were actually quite beautiful. 👍🏾

3. Soooo…how long was she in that damn store for? What the hell was she doing?🤨🤦🏾‍♂️

4. UGH, André Holland! Love him!  😩😍

5. With a runtime of about 120 minutes, this film didn’t feel long to me, but I definitely wasn’t consistently stimulated—visually nor mentally—which made the film feel a little drawn out in hindsight. 🤷🏾‍♂️

Additionally, the film moves too fast for character development and intrigue. Though characters followthrough on themes (to be discussed at a later point), there are a lot of things mentioned with characters that seem to be said then left behind. One moment in particular that really stands out is when the title comes up in conversation but not really explained. 

There’s also the quick pacing of Russell’s character “learning her abilities.”🤦🏾‍♂️

6. As I sit and reflect a little more, there were some creative directing moves/camera work…even if they seemed so random and forced at times. 🤷🏾‍♂️

7. In the little bit of time she was on screen, Chloë Sevigny did what needed to be done. 👍🏾

8. There may not have been many of them, but the scenes of anthropophagy that were shown were disturbingly good. 👍🏾

9. Eh… I didn’t really care for the ending.🤷🏾‍♂️

10. First and foremost, Mark Rylance was amazing! I was creeped out. 

Outside of Rylance, the other performances were well done and “understood the assignment,” but nothing that moved me (especially when caring about the ending). 

In terms of character followthrough with the theme, this super strong for me. Russell’s character was one who struggled with building connections with others her age due to her urges, as well as maintaining connections/relationships with those close to her due to safety and a lack of understanding. Throughout the entire film, Russell’s character struggles with the connections she makes all the way to the end. 

Chalamet’s character is one who is introduced as someone having a challenging time allowing connections at home to exist, later acting as the voice of logic/reason when discussing the intersection between connections/existing and living with anthropophagy, and at the core needing/yearning/appreciating the connection made with Russell’s character. 

Then there’s Rylance’s character which is similar to Chalamet’s character, but a little darker and oddly empathetic. He also has lived a life struggling with making and allowing connections, acts a voice of some sense in relation to their context, and needs/yearns/appreciates the connection made with Russell’s character as well. 

Even Janelle Kerns and her context is another example of this difficult ability to maintain connections with others due to this lived context, and ALL of these connections are threaded with trauma. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾

** ** **

Overall #BonesAndAll gives I Am Number Four – meets Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix – meets Queen and Slim – meets Nomadland

When I left the theater I had poorer feelings about it as a product, but those feelings shifted after some reflection once I started to write the review (I don’t even fully agree with how my rubric still averaged out the overall entertainment factor, but I also recognize that my review and rubric are set up to support a general population of people leaving to spend their money at a theater, and for that… I stand with the overall factor). 

I do think as a creative product, there’s a lot of potential, but too much potential to try and cram in 120 minutes. This could’ve been an amazing series. So much more needed to be unpacked that this film just neglects, and I feel like the confinement of film interrupted the love story that was at its core. 

BUT… shout out again to Mark Rylance. He gave a really great performance.

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