London Film Festival 2022: Bones and All – ★★★★★

All London Film Festival 2022 reviews will be written by the wonderfully talented and massive film fan Brigitte Krause. You can follow her on Twitter – @TheBrigitteEdit.

Fans of Luca Guadagnino and Timothee Chalamet have been waiting for this one, myself included. I’ve been very excited to see ‘Bones And All’ during this year’s LFF line-up, which was a late addition to the festival. It reunites one of my future favourite director/actor collaborations, five years since we last saw them work together on ‘Call Me By Your Name’.

The film is set in the 80s and stars Taylor Russell as Maren, an 18-year-old girl who regularly moves town with her father (Andre Holland) to avoid being caught eating humans. Take that for a twist.

Image via Yannis Drakoulidis/ MGM

We are a mere 5 – 10 minutes into the film when we catch the first bite, and it’s only getting bloodier from there on.

After her father walks out on her, after seemingly many failed attempts to help his daughter, she takes to the road, trying to find her mother and the reason why she is the way she is.

Once on the road, she first meets Sally, played by the marvellous and very creepy Mark Rylance, who is a fellow cannibal, just like her, an outsider to society. Deciding that he is a little bit too creepy for her liking, she moves on, this is where she meets Lee (played by Chalamet), and the love story between them begins.

The moment he comes on screen and they meet, the film comes fully alive. Having introduced its main characters, we can fully immerse ourselves in what becomes a coming-of-age road movie meets romance, but all with a lot of heart and just the occasional kill.

Image via Yannis Drakoulidis/MGM

Russell has been a revelation in the making. Ever since I saw her in ‘Waves’, I won’t be the only one mentioning this. She has a fierceness about her, that is so secure, while equally embodying vulnerability a scene later, which is only matched by her counterpart’s equal devotion to his emotions (in this case, Chalamet).

There is one particular scene that grabbed me (at the risk of not spoiling anything). I’ll call it the scene on the hill, where the pair deliver such a strong performance, laying it all bare for you to witness. It’s hard not to fall for both and hope for the best outcome.

Image via Yannis Drakoulidis/MGM

Mark Rylance, in my eyes, delivers one of the best performances in his career, and I don’t say that lightly. He manages to be so creepy, adding so much tension to a scene that it’s almost unbearable sometimes.

Overall, I don’t know if I would describe this as a horror. It doesn’t carry enough kills for that – which I’m actually a bit gutted about, no pun intended.

Maybe the best way to refer to this film is that it does bare it all. When it comes to emotions, and while it’s not for the light-hearted, it’s truly the depiction of what would happen if Guadagnino directed a film with cannibalism, in the best way.

Bones And all certainly will make you leave the cinema thinking about it for a while after.

Directed By – Luca Guadagnino
Starring – Timothee Chalamet, Taylor Russell, Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbar, Chloe Sevigny
Certificate – 18
Running Time – 2h 10min.

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