THB @Telluride 5, Bones & All
I found Bones & All shocking, not because it is a romantic and rapey cannibal road movie, but because it never arrives.
Luca Guadagnino makes a beautiful film. And this is that. But with this screenplay- which feels like a template from which a lot of improv happened - won’t commit. And I’m not asking for a rigid “this is exactly the idea and we cannot swerve from that.” I’m talking about basics from which the audience can engage the journey and connect with the emotion in a real way.
What we get, instead, is a series of scenes with some great actors. It feels like the highest level of an acting class. “Here’s who the character is. Here is what they want in this scene. Do your best genius stuff.”
Mark Rylance, in particular, creates a universe around his character. He is given a lot of exposition to deliver, but does it without ever seeming to be about the narrative. But his character splices into the overall movie like a thriller cliche.
That’s really the movie. The scenes can be great. But they fit together like the puzzle pieces from 3 different boxes of puzzles.
I guess the ultimate question I have of the movie is what the hunger is. Because the movie seems to want us to know that it is more than a rule in a genre thriller. But as it slides around the classic star-gazing young oddballs finding their place in the world together cliches, it never quite brings “the hunger” to life. And I don’t just mean what activates it.
It’s simpler in a vampire movie. We know that vampires stay young forever as long as they keep drinking human blood. We know the metaphor. Here, we know very little about the cannibal urge here and we need more.
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