Blending the tenderness of “Call Me By Your Name” with the grotesqueness of “Suspiria,” Luca Guadagnino reunites with “Suspiria” screenwriter David Kajganich to adapt Aamille DeAngelis’ young adult novel “Bones and All” for the screen, crafting a stunning illustration of shattered innocence repaired by love.
The story is one of first loves. Maren, a young girl learning to live on the outskirts of society and Lee, who is a hard-to-crack drifter, find a powerful connection growing in the midst of a haunting loneliness that curses the cannibal protagonists. The young couple road trip across 80s-era, small-town America in search of the cure to estrangement — connection.
Critics attribute Timothee Chalamet’s big break to his portrayal of Elio in the coming-of-age story “Call Me By Your Name,” where he was nominated for an academy award for best actor. In his second collaboration with Guadagnino, this time as an actor and producer, Chalamet portrays Lee with a raw vulnerability. With chilling mannerisms and heart wrenching monologues, Chalamet beautifully introduces and ties together the romantic element of the film.
His emotive performance is best accompanied with Taylor Russell’s impressive lead performance. Russell’s emotionally naive portrayal of Maren reveals an authentic innocence that intricately nuances her carnal impulses.
Gudagnino’s directorial decisions elevated the film’s suspense while clearly distinguishing the emotions the audience was meant to feel — whether it be disgust, anxiety, or romantic. His depiction of pivotal moments in the film prove to be effective and shocking with a true Guadagnino ending — one worthy of tears.
The crew behind the film also deserves praise for their contribution to the setting of the film. From the hair (Budd Bird) and makeup designers (Jodi Byrne) to the props masters (Mike Drury), unique items were created with detail and meaning, reinforcing the 1980s setting and character’s personas.
“Bones And All,” the chilling love story centered on two teenage outcasts finding themselves and each other, is for the sickos, the forgotten and the scarred. But it’s also for the romantics — if you can stomach it.
See “Bones and All” in theaters now. Rated R for bloody and disturbing violent content, language throughout, some sexual content and brief graphic nudity. Runtime: 2 hours 10 minutes.