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Release Date: 11/23/22
Genre: Drama/Horror/Romance

Studio: MGM/United Artists Releasing

"Maren, a young woman, learns how to survive on the margins of society."


Luca Guadagnino returns to the screen this year with Bones and All. Another coming-of-age film from the director, akin to his 2017 film Call Me by Your Name. Tapping his Call Me by Your Name breakout star Timothée Chalamet again marking their second collaboration together. The pair could be on their way to being the latest power-pairing, such as with Gosling and Refn or DiCaprio and Scorsese. One thing is for sure, these two are a great match for each other and have again delivered a film that will make you squirm in your seat while being won over by the romantic relationship on screen. 


Although Chalamet is the huge draw to this film, it's Taylor Russell who gets the main role and spotlight as Maren. The young woman sets out on an anxiety-inducing journey to find her mother, whom she has never met and in hopes of learning more about herself. With a character such as Maren, it's vital to bring about a level of sympathy from the audience but also from within the story that lives inside Bones and All's world. Russell's genuine and subdued performance provides that sympathetic viewpoint allowing empathy and interest in her character to build patiently throughout the film. Especially excellent, is how well not only she, but her co-stars Chalamet and Rylance also manage to remain sympathetic even whilst doing things that will send chills down your spine and drop your jaw to the floor. 


Bones and All is an offbeat story framed within a typical film model you have seen before. Films such as Natural Born Killers, Into the Wild, and Thelma and Louise. It's a romantic coming-of-age road movie infused with new blood that revitalizes this film genre. Within the film's opening 10 minutes, a scene involves Maren sneaking out of her and her father’s run-down trailer and over to a friend from her school’s house. The turn of events disclosed inside this sequence Immediately makes clear that this story is not going to go where you think it is. There is something darker and more fantastical hidden beneath its skin. A scene that took me by surprise not only due to the sheer shock factor, but how effectively it serves as an introduction to the plot of the film.  


Early on in her expedition, Maren encounters the strange yet creepily sweet vagabond, Sully played by Mark Rylance. Playing the old drifter that briefly takes her under his wing in hopes of having found a companion after years of going it alone. Rylance gives an outstanding and most memorable performance of his from what I have seen. Managing to keep you on the edge of your seat regardless of his character's innocent or not-so-innocent on-screen actions and intentions. The mysterious characteristics of Sully, and the mannerisms Rylance exhibits, elevate the suspenseful nature of the character. The film's blood starts pumping when Maren crosses paths with Chalamet's character Lee. The rebellious, peculiar, but well-intentioned young man and Maren are almost instantly struck by one another and the on-screen chemistry between these two leads is intoxicating. Chalamet's semi self-deprecating disposition throughout the film services the depiction of Lee, emphasizing the tender-hearted but misunderstood essence of the character as a human being. 


The ominous plucking of guitar strings heard within the film's score by Atticus Ross and Trent Rezner, reverberates throughout, adding a welcome layer of intensity and unease. Guadagnino's latest film showcases the directors' ability to deliver a movie that will have you thinking for some time and is not one you'll forget anytime soon. With an incredible cast, a story that feels refreshingly original, Guadagnino's direction, and its unnerving score, you'll find yourself wanting to devour its bones and all. Just remember to pick your jaw off the floor once it's finished.  

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