Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All is a beautiful and dark horror romance. It shows how love and monstrosities co-exist in our world, and the lengths that people will go to when they are in love.
Without spoiling the film (which I definitely would avoid spoilers to really appreciate the film), the story follows two outcasts (Lee and Maren) who join together and eventually fall in love. Lee and Maren struggle with their past, which brings them closer together, until they are faced with the ultimate test of their love. Several parts of the story were unexpected, which I really enjoyed.
Bones and All is definitely the opposite visually of Guadagnino’s prior film, Call Me by Your Name, but is still beautiful, nonetheless. Unlike the prior lush and rich colors of the Italian countryside, Bones and All brings a much more muted and dusty color palette to represent the aesthetics of rural Americana. Of course, this film is definitely gory, but not without purpose. I love how Guadagnino does not shy away from the acts of cannibalism in the film, adding more to the shock you experience as a viewer. The blood and gore pop when contrasted with the muted environments.
This film definitely played with contrast and balance, beginning with the leads, Timothée Chalamet (Lee) and Taylor Russell (Maren). Chalamet as always, brings so much emotion and depth to his character, who was a stand-offish and vocal character. Russell’s acting is equally as great; she brought subtleness and innocence to her role, and you could always see how her character was constantly conflicted. Other cast members include Mark Rylance, Jessica Harper, Michael Stuhlbarg, David Gordon Green, Chloë Sevigny, and André Holland. Honestly, each actor did a phenomenal job, with Rylance in particular bringing a lot of creepiness to his role.
The soundtrack worked perfectly with the film, featuring mainly instrumentals. It was very somber and melancholy, which brought even more depth to the film. The soundtrack never took away from any of the scenes and made the film even more impactful.
The score and the cinematography worked perfectly to create a bleak and morose feel. I loved how the environment contrasted with the psyches of the characters. My only criticisms are that I didn’t care for the jumpiness of the scenes that would include zoom-in shots. Although the film is definitely shocking and touching at the same time, I didn’t grow to care very much for either of the lead characters. Despite this, I still enjoyed the film and definitely recommend it.
Bones and All releases November 23, 2022.