Taylor Russell and Timothee Chalamet both give raw and powerful performances, in this genre splitting look at life, love and cannibalism
Maren, a young woman, learns how to survive on the margins of society.
Luca Guadagnino’s follow up to his impressive hits. 2017 ‘Call Me by Your Name’ and 2018 ‘Suspiria’ is a very unique and emotional look at what it’s like to be different and trying to fit into an already broken world. Finding love is hard, apparently finding love in the 80s was even harder. Toss in the fact that you need to feed on human flesh in order to live your life? That’s going to make things a little more complicated. This is a lot of movies all rolled into one. It’s a beautiful movie, beautifully shot, tons of gorgeous landscapes and a true-blue cannibal story.
I’m just a fan of how Luca makes his movies. They almost at times seem like a documentary at times, because the realism that is on display really grabs you. Even with big named actors throughout the movie, they play such unique and magnetic characters that you forget who you are looking at most of the time. The first 30 minutes plays out like a true horror movie I’d say. A lot of tension and scares and for the more squeamish people, this is the time when the movie really goes for it in regard to the body horror element. The movie then kicks into a love story/road trip movie. Where two people who share a special bond are falling in love and trying to make the most of having nothing.
When Maren (Taylor Russell) can no longer control her urges for flesh, she is ultimately abandoned with nothing and no one except for her birth certificate and is now trying to track down her mother in order to perhaps understand why she is the way that she is. She meets all sorts of other “eaters” along the way. Sully (Mark Rylance) is the first one she comes across, who could sense her presence from blocks away. When he teaches her about his code for eating and how to perhaps get a handle on this new life, she learns what she can and heads off for more answers. That’s when she meets Lee (Timothee Chalamet) and the two instantly share a connection and bond and together try to navigate this hellish landscape they have made for each other.
The movie belongs to the two of them, both delivering emotional performances and for Chalamet, I also want to say physical. I don’t know if he’s actually that skinny in real life, but what he does in this movie is so captivating and he’s just such a terrific actor and Luca Guadagnino is able to capture magic with him whenever they work together. I think he just understands his limits and is able to get the very best out of him. Taylor Russell no doubt gives her best performance, and clearly didn’t back down from this acting challenge. They have such great chemistry; you can tell they enjoyed working together and got the best out of one another. Shout out to Michael Stuhlberg who plays another eater, who appears for a mere 7 minutes probably and totally blows you away. An elevated scene and perhaps one of the more troubling and psychotic moments of the film.
It’s a lovely movie that flips from bloody horror to sensible and sensual love story. A coming-of-age film, that transports you on a road trip with two people trying to find their place in the world. One of whom doesn’t quite understand her past, present or future. It’s a bleak look at love when you have nothing else in your life, the movie is dirty, in the sense where these two leads have nothing except one another. Rarely bathed or groomed and for a lot of it, covered in blood. I liked how they didn’t make these clearly two beautiful movie-stars shine like diamond and rather rust like copper. It will make you laugh, cry and turn away from the screen. I was engaged the entire time, because you really were invested in these characters. Really happy I caught this one in theatres.
This movie will stay with you for a while after you watch it.
Bones & All = 76/100