Bones and All (Luca Guadagnino, 2022, Italy/USA)

Bones and All is the latest film by director Luca Guadagnino. The film finds him once again teaming with actor Timothee Chalamet, who appeared in the coming-of-age romance Call Me By Your Name in 2017. This time Guadagnino revisits the coming-of-age genre, albeit with a horrific lens - the casting of Suspiria actress Jessica Harper is no doubt a throwback to the director's last film, a remake of Argento's horror classic. The film is based on a YA novel by Camille DeAngelis, however, screenwriter David Kajganich's treatment of the material is undoubtedly more intense than the original vision. The result is a curious arthouse road movie across America's flyover country that happens to focus on cannibalism.

The shocks come within the first 10 minutes of the film, and anyone who thought that this film might hold back from showing its subject matter in full detail will be disappointed. From this point on, our protagonist Maren (Taylor Russell) is on the run, bouncing from state to state until she eventually meets Lee (Chalamet) - also a cannibal (they can smell one another). The two form a lover's bond as Maren tries to learn more about her mysterious past.

Like Guadagnino's past efforts, Bones and All is soaked in the atmosphere. Arseni Khachaturan's cinematography is astoundingly beautiful in parts, and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross's score lends a sometimes unsettling, sometimes uplifting mood to the film. The film's final song, sung and performed by Reznor, will surely be the movie song of the year. As with all Guadagnino films, there are excellent choice needle drops from artists such as Joy Division and New Order. Bones and All is a film that you soak in. While some will criticize the film for lacking overall substance, the cannibal metaphor can be read in multiple ways. One of the year's best films.



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