Bones And All film review

The fastest way to a man’s heart is through the chest

What’s it about?

A young woman on the margins of society discovers something terrifying about herself. Suddenly alone, she meets others like her including a disenfranchised drifter as they embark on a 3,000-mile odyssey through the backroads of America. However, despite their best efforts, all roads lead back to their terrifying pasts and a final stand that will determine whether their love can survive their differences.

What did we think?

Anthony Sherratt says: BONES AND ALL could be a film about the humanity of supernatural creatures without it being a supernatural film. Or it could be a fascinating exploration of the morality of who you’d eat and why if you have an irresistible compulsion to eat humans. Or a giant metaphor for the struggle with addiction. Or sexual urges. Or just a love story with depraved undertones.

Sadly, BONES AND ALL turns out to be none of those things. For the first two thirds of Luca Guadagnino’s new film you’re captivated by this film’s potential, especially given the obvious quality of production. It’s even difficult to say if he’s trying to merely hint at these things or if they’re not really sure of the theme itself. Sadly the meandering final act seems to suggest the latter. 

The acting, cinematography, palettes, a love of jarring moments and shots… nearly everything is beautiful. Even the enjoyable refusal to conform to a normal timeline pacing seemed to suggest an inspired determination to focus on the story of the two young lovers at the exclusion of all else. 

But then it simply doesn’t really go anywhere.

To add to the frustration, the final shot is deliberately ambiguous and irritating suggesting a level of pretension that prevents this film from reaching its potential. Despite all this I actually mostly enjoyed it but I’m left feeling this really should have been a truly great movie. 6.75/10

Peter Linning says: Full disclosure – I’ve never wanted to make a pun more than in writing this review, but professionalism prevents me.

Bones and All should have been better than it was. We’ve got a director at the top of his game, a great cast of new and established actors, a score by some of the best composers working in films, and gorgeous cinematography to boot. What it lacks is a satisfying exploration of the themes and issues it touches on, or any sense of payoff of what it does establish.

It successfully blends the romantic coming-of-age road trip with (lightly supernatural) horror, and at its best the movie is a real treat. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that it should have either committed to the dreamlike meandering of it’s leads, or stayed in one place long enough to develop a narrative that can deliver a satisfying payoff. I liked it a lot, and I’m still definitely recommending you check it out, I guess I just expected more.

Okay I’m getting it out of my system. More like Call Me Bite Your Name. Not everyone will have the appetite for it, as certain scenes will be hard to swallow. Some ideas needed to be fleshed out more, and other ideas are just hard to digest. Delicious visuals and delectable performances still make it a bloody good time but the resolution left a bad taste in my mouth. 7/10

A high quality film that defies definition but sadly also fails to define itself.
Anthony has been reviewing movies for over 25 years (it may be longer now as he may have forgotten to add an extra year on). He lectures in journalism at the prestigious Queensland University of Technology and in addition to freelance writing, works with the charity Hands Across The Water. In a busy life, insomnia is his friend.
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