Coming to theatres from director Luca Guadagnino and MGM is the love story with BONES AND ALL.
It is the Regan years and Maren (Taylor Russell) is a young woman living a secluded life. Dad Frank (Andre Holland) is doing all he can to protect the girl from the world. Coaxed to go against her father’s wishes, Maren starts to stretch her teen-legs. Sneaking out one night to hang out with girlfriends turns disastrous and the duo can only run out of town.
In the morning, Maren discovers Frank is gone leaving her with a birth certificate, a few dollars and some tapes. She decides it is time to go find the mother she never knew. At the bus stop, Maren meets Sully (Mark Rylance), and discovers that she is not the only person with her, shall we say, condition.
Sully shares things with Maren that surprises her. The behavior that drives her are considered normal to Sully and nothing to be ashamed of. After a night of feasting, Maren realizes she needs to go – and quickly.
At her next stop she meets Lee (Timothee Chalamet) and is even more shocked at his openness and finding someone else like her in such a short amount of time. The make a connection as they feed when they can and drive down the country’s back roads toward Maren’s mother. When Maren discovers that Sully is not far behind, things begin to come unraveled and that is never where Frank intended for his daughter to end up and a mother’s love has boundaries.
Russell as the young Maren is absolutely riveting to watch. Not quite understanding the world, it is the secrets that are what make it difficult for this character to survive it all. She is trusting and yet pensive, angry yet confused to just wanting to live some semblance of a free life without fear. Even with a father, this character basically raised herself in many ways. As Maren learns about her condition, she becomes more aware of the dangers. Russell captures and exudes every spectrum of emotion and yet it is all so subtle that it quietly screams out to be noticed.
Chalamet as Lee is laid back casual with his own past he is dealing with. Not accepted by his own family, he keeps moving on down the road. Finding Maren, he now has something and someone else to focus on, even if they tiff a tad. Chalamet makes not excuses for who he is and tries to share that with Maren who is still learning to accept it all. Chalamet’s gives his character charisma (which I’m assuming is necessary for their condition) and non-apologetic for anything he does. Yet, something comes out in Lee the longer he is with Maren.
Rylance as Sully – oh my gosh, I’m ready to hand him awards, I don’t care which ones. I’ll make one if I have to! The character of Sully is slow, deliberate, eerie, needy, and informative. Speaking about his performance I was telling a friend that it is ingenious that as Sully, Rylance has once again shown why he one of the best actors of our time even though he freaked me out. At the same time, my granddaughter sees him as the 2016 loveable BFG (Big Friendly Giant)! That is the diversity of Rylance. As Sully, he states his case to Maren and then skulks into the background and I mentally beg him to get back on the screen.
Shout out to Michael Stuhlbarg as Jake for making me hold my breath. Your beer talking back woods screeching behavior will have me forever shook!
Other cast include Madeleine Hall as Him, Sean Bridgers as Barry, Anna Cobb as Kayla, Kendle Coffey as Sherry, Ellie Parker as Jackie, David Green as Brad, Jessica Harper as Barbara Kerns, Burgess Byrd as Gail and Chloe Sevigny as Janelle.
MGM is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television across all platforms. Owning one of the world’s deepest libraries of premium film and television content and is home to two of the longest-running and most successful film franchise in cinematic history with JAMES BOND and ROCKY. For more please visit www.mgm.com.
As of this writing, the Venice Film Festival as awarded Taylor Russell with Best Actress with the Marcello Mastroianni Award, Best Director Silver Lion to Luca Guadagnino and nominated for the Best Film Golden Lion for director Guadagnino. The Gotham Awards has nominated Mark Rylance for Outstanding Supporting Performance and nominated for Outstanding Lead Performance for Taylor Russell and UA/MGM.
The Hollywood Music in Media Awards gives a nominee nod to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for Best Original Song – Feature Film with ‘(You Made It Feel Like) Home’. Reznor is a member of the band Nine Inch Nails and took his music into films such as NATURAL BORN KILLERS, LOST HIGHWAY, THE SOCIAL NETWORK and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.
Director Guadagnino says, “There is something about the disenfranchised, about people living on the margins of society that I am drawn towards and touched by. I love these characters. The heart of the movie is tender and affectionate towards them. I am interested in their emotional journeys. I want to see where the possibilities lie for them, enmeshed within the impossibility they face. The movie is for me a meditation on who I am and how I can overcome what I feel, especially if it is something I cannot control in myself. And lastly, and most importantly, when will I be able to find myself in the gaze of the other?”
BONES AND ALL is an intense story but with so many different layers. It is a story of a young girls search for who she is and where she belongs, it is a story of being different, it is a story of stranger-danger, it is a story of abandonment and so much more. Even if you took out one of the elements, the story would still hold together.
That being said, it is, well, a feast for the eyes also on several levels. The issue of cannibalism is a huge distraction from the other issues that each of the characters have but it is part of who they are. After a few jaw drops, I winced a bit but my jaw stayed in place as the film went on. I began to understand that as with most unusual things human beings do to each other, Maren and Lee do not shy away but instead keep pushing forward.
I loved this film on so many levels as well and the acting is so damn stellar. Watching BONES AND ALL again is something that I have to do because I want to understand even more about the direction Guadagnino takes these characters without the shock factor intruding. The cast has brought a story that is complex, complicated and worth every moment of big screen time.
In the end – it is a masticating love story!