Bones And All (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

“Bones and All” can be seen as a sometimes brutal horror love story, but it may not go as far as expected.


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Movie poster for Bones and All featuring Lee (Timothee Chalamet) and Maren (Taylor Russell)

“Bones and All” can be seen as a sometimes brutal horror love story, but it may not go as far as expected.

Director(s) Luca Guadagnino
Screenplay By David Kajganich
Based On The Novel “Bones & All” by Camille DeAngelis
Date Released (In Theaters) 11/18/2022
Genre(s) Crime, Drama, Horror, Romance, Young Adult
Duration 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Cast
Janelle (Marne’s Mom) Chloë Sevigny
Maren Taylor Russell
Kayla Anna Cobb
Lee Timothée Chalamet
Sully Mark Rylance
Maren’s Dad André Holland

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Film Summary

Sometime in the 80s, after Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush came into the presidency, Maren finds herself finally making friends and invited to a sleepover! Now, her father would never agree to it, so she knows she’ll have to sneak out to go and sneak back in before sunrise. But, with her friend fine with it, that’s the plan.

So, at first, things are normal. Maren’s friend, and two others, are talking, doing each other’s nails, and when Maren arrives, she and her friend talk about her life and get to know each other. This level of intimacy, both in conversation and proximity, leads Maren to look at her friend almost like she is in love. But that isn’t the case, as shown when Maren’s friend shows off her nail, Maren grabs her, and from the second knuckle on, she bites into her friend’s finger and rips off the skin as she is dragged off.

This, we learn, is why Maren isn’t allowed to have friends, people over, or to go over other people’s houses. But, after around 18 years of trying to protect his daughter from himself, her dad is done. He leaves her with some money, her birth certificate, and a tape breaking down all he has done and why. This leaves Maren to search for the mom who long abandoned her, and along the way, she meets friends and foes in other cannibals.

Things To Note

Why Is “Bones and All” Rated R

  • Dialog: Cursing and derogatory language
  • Violence: Depiction of cannibalism, knife violence, and visuals of open wounds bleeding
  • Sexual Content: photographic nudity and Taylor Russell topless
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. So are we to believe cannibalism is genetic? If so, who did Lee inherit it from, and did the gene skip his sister?

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Maren

Taylor Russell as Maren and Mark Rylance as Sully in BONES AND ALL
(L to R) Taylor Russell as Maren and Mark Rylance as Sully in BONES AND ALL, directed by Luca Guadagnino, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.
Credit: Yannis Drakoulidis / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures
© 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The recently turned 18 Maren has struggled with her cannibalism need since she was a toddler and attacked her babysitter. Now, she has some level of control over that, though temptation remains. But, with her father abandoning her like her mother did when she was a child, Maren is left to her own devices.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Emily in “Waves,” Judy Robinson in “Lost In Space,” Maya in “Words on Bathroom Walls” and Zoey Davis in “Escape Room” and “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions”

Maren’s Dad

After meeting Maren’s Mom in college, he and she tried to live a normal life. However, life was hard between her leaving and Maren revealing herself to have an infliction. Thus leading to Maren’s dad focusing on his obligations to Maren and leaving once it became clear things wouldn’t truly become better.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Kevin in “Moonlight,” Andrew Young in “Selma,” Huey P. Newton in “The Big Cigar” and an Unknown Role in the Shirley Chisolm biopic

Sully

Sully, or Sullivan, is a cannibal who smells out Maren while she is on her way to where she believes her mother is. He acts as a sort of mentor to her, but with him making Maren uncomfortable, they separate.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Leonard in “The Outfit”

Lee

Timothée Chalamet (left) as Lee and Taylor Russell (right) as Maren in BONES AND ALL
Timothée Chalamet (left) as Lee and Taylor Russell (right) as Maren in BONES AND ALL, directed by Luca Guadagnino, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film.
Credit: Yannis Drakoulidis / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures
© 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lee is a nice midwestern boy who loves his little sister Kayla and being out on the open road. Alongside that, he likes eating people.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Elio in “Call Me By Your Name,” Willy Wonka in “Wonka,” Paul Atrides in “Dune” and “Dune: Part Two”

Kayla

Kayla is Lee’s little sister who loves him to bits but gets triggered whenever he leaves since it makes her think, like their dad, he won’t come back.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Casey in “We’re All Going To The World’s Fair”

Maren’s Mom Janelle

With losing the support of her parents due to leaving college to be with a Black man, Maren had it rough. But once you add in her ailment passed onto her daughter and the struggle to create a sense of normalcy, things really got bad.

  • You May Also Know The Actor From Being: Sarah Wilson in “We Are Who We Are,” Lenora Vulvokov in “Russian Doll,” Mel in “The Act” and Jennie in “Kids”

Review


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Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Highlights

Sully

Sully is a disturbing character. One whose performance leaves the biggest impression after you finish watching “Bones and All.” As a pseudo mentor to Maren, perhaps the first that allowed her to embrace being a cannibal, you see a lovable, odd, and sometimes even comical man. One who, as he portrays cannibals, or “eaters,” isn’t used to having company and is kind of lonely. However, he likes having Maren around and even makes an effort to bond with and teach Maren the ropes so that she can become more adept and able to be a cannibal for as long as he has.

But, in time, we’re pushed to understand that Sully has two sides. Like Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde, or perhaps more apt, Gollum and Smeagol, he has an alternate of sorts. Not in a full-on different persona sharing the same body way, but as shown when Maren begins to reject Sully, and he has a visceral reaction to that, he hasn’t lived and survived this long by sniffing out dying people like a vulture. He is capable of being a monster, and while at war with himself, there is a split focus, that pain can be redirected at someone and God help the person who seems to be in the path of Sully and Sullivan’s wrath.

Brutal Enough To Disturb

“Bones & All” doesn’t stray away from gore. Now, is it full-on seeing flesh and organs being bit into, dangling off lips, and some level of gratuitous? No. The movie doesn’t get to the point of showing cannibals as feral or even high-class, like in “Fresh” from earlier this year. However, you will see flesh ripped off, throats slit, bleeding wounds, and it being implied that people are being consumed.

For some, this all may look rather tame, but for those not desensitized by far more violent depictions of cannibalism or violence, it could be disturbing to watch humans feed on one another.

On The Fence

A Cute Enough Love Story

Will Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell deliver to you a romance like no other? No. They bring a cute enough trauma bond to act as a vehicle for Maren to confront her mother and her fight for some sort of normal life.

As for Lee? Alongside his sister Kayla, Maren, for him, is meant to push the idea there is more to him than being a cannibal or what he did to his dad. That he, despite all he has done and is perhaps willing to do, might be a good person.

Which ultimately makes the relationship good enough for the purpose of moving the story and character development, but on its own, you won’t be swooning,

Stuck Between Thinking It Needs To Be Trimmed Or Needed To Fill The Film Up With More

At times, you may wish “Bones and All” was a mini-series to allow it to expand further on certain aspects of the plot which seemingly were trimmed from its source material. Be it the story of Maren’s parents as a couple and individuals, Lee’s battle with his father, or even Sully’s story. Yet, that isn’t what you get.

Instead, you’re left with a movie that, perhaps to be artsy and embrace the views of the rural Midwest, feels like a long road trip. One with random diners, conversations between Lee and Maren when they’re together, and the vibe that there could have been cuts with what we’re given. If not, more depictions of cannibalism since, as much as this film is about cannibals, there might be less than seven people killed in the entire movie, with a few of them killed and fed on off-screen.

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Movie poster for Bones and All featuring Lee (Timothee Chalamet) and Maren (Taylor Russell)
Bones And All (2022) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Overall
“Bones and All” with its artsy horror, finds a notable and expected character in Sully, but everything else offered leaves you wanting more.
Community Rating0 Votes
0
Highlights
Sully
Brutal Enough To Disturb
Disputable
A Cute Enough Love Story
Stuck Between Thinking It Needs To Be Trimmed Or Needed To Fill The Film Up With More
80

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One Comment

  1. Interesting concept but not sure how cannibalism can be genetic/inherited because wouldn’t that mean the mom would have ate her baby? Just seem far fetch even for this.
    And honestly I have a better time believing in vampires, aliens, and bigfoot which 2 out of 3 being most likely and the other somewhat likely lol

    Honestly, the actors are main concern. I have not yet been sold on Timothée Chalamet as “the” actor of the generation. He is just ok. I know hollywood like to push actor/actress especially when their a certain complexion. Others don’t get that same push. But that’s another topic.

    Also the young actress is just capable. Her acting, along with the others in Escape Room was just bland. Bad writing or bad acting? I think both.

    So this sounds like a “road trip” movie just with cannibals thrown in. How many road trips have we all seen and the standard trope of looking for mom or dad? Lots and lots!

    I might check it out on streaming but I am certainly not looking for it, in all honesty.
    Appreciate you taking time to review this movie. Thanks.

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