Movie Review: Bones and All starring Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, and Mark Rylance

Bones And All
Image Source: IMDB

Production Company: Frenesy Film Company
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Producers: Luca Guadagnino, Timothée Chalamet, David Kajganich
Main Cast: Taylor Russel, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Anna Cobb, Michael Stuhlbarg and Chloe Sevigny.
Release Date: 23 November 2022
Running Time: 131 Minutes
Certificate: 18


In the lead-up to Luca Guadagnino’s new film challenges his previous work Bones and All was high on my rewatch list. This adaptation of Camille DeAngelis’ novel of the same name, ties us to a cannibalistic girl who goes through abandonment, homelessness, and identity issues.

Synopsis of Bones and All

The film follows our main character Maren (Taylor Russel) as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery. We follow Maren as she endures love and loss, navigating a world as an 18-year-old girl. She encounters different characters throughout her journey who will impact her life in various ways. However, as she travels towards her future she continues to be haunted by her past. 

Analysis of Bones and All

The film follows a niche coming-of-age story, Taylor Russel portrays our main character Maren, freshly turned 18 navigating a world as a genetic cannibal. Through vulnerability and brutality, we forge a connection to a character we cannot understand. I started this film knowing little about the plot. I knew the story revolved around the life of a young cannibal and that I trusted Luca Guadagnino to produce nothing less of art. His ability to turn this story of horror and gore into a tender love story and the journey of a young girl suffering and learning is classical to his filmography. 

The catalyst of the story comes when Maren eats the finger of her new school friend. This starts the story, the running, and the journey that the film follows. The film constantly moved with Maren, travel was used to set the pace and colour her journey. Guadagnino uses the notion of travel to show the continuation of the story and Maren’s growth. Using Lee’s (Timothée chalamet) unfortunate victims’ truck, Lee and Maren set off on their adventure together. The truck serves as a connection between the two characters and the setting of the start of their relationship. 


Taylor Russel and Timothée Chalamet portrayed a palpable connection of love and understanding with ease. The chemistry on screen in this odd relationship of love and survival was crucial to the film. Chalamet’s character reflects the era through the most garish and elaborate 80’s outfit and a red mullet. The story is set in 80’s America. In turn, this removed phones and media, thus diminishing the issue of plausibility. And this enhanced the story and created an organic bubble of their world. 

Russell made such a strange character feel relatable and the barriers and anxiety that her condition creates. This feels relatable to the audience for any difference that they face in life. The relationship that the two characters forge through their commonality is so relatable in comparison to forming friendships through adolescence through quirks and weirdness. 

Throughout the story, Maren is haunted by the character of Sully, portrayed by Mark Rylance who I felt was beyond successful at portraying an unpredictable “eater”. Acting as the disruptor of Maren’s story. Rylance’s character left me unsettled for days, the shot of him eating his first meal made me sick to my stomach. As a result, everything that the character did following that scene created a heavy feeling in my stomach. The character’s juxtaposing childlike mind and his urges of brutality created a jarring and haunting character. 

Sound and Cinematography

The sound design of the film reflected the atmosphere of the journey and trials Maren endures. In particular, the use of intense animalistic foley sound intensified the characterisation. This was particularly evident circulating character of Sully. This immediately reached out to me when we first met his character and the sounds he produced as he brutally prepared chicken for both characters. This introduction set the tone for his role within Maren’s story. 

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross created a score that was eerie yet romantic much like Guadagnino’s cinematography. The score’s signature track, ‘I’m with you(a way out)’ with its slow singular note progression echoes sound and story throughout the film. This song haunts the film and is the theme for Maren and Lee’s adventure. The score tied perfectly to the atmosphere of the cinematography.

Arseni Khachaturan was responsible for the beautiful cinematography of this film. The gorgeous hues and sensual setting made the film much more than a cannibalistic horror. Khachaturan used minimal artificial light, because of this the film had a naturalistic feel. I found this is most poignant during scenes at dusk. As a result, I found the scenes to feel more immersive. Within the film, we are submerged in a story of relentless urges, first love, and an uncontrollable addiction. And Guadagnino outdid himself in balancing these themes perfectly.


The film is a perfect example of an atmospheric masterpiece. The main actors made a tender yet lasting impression. Lucas Guadagnino once again delivered a masterful work of art that is tender yet brutal, horrifying yet beautifully romantic. Bones and All perfectly tied together cinema and art.


Target Audience; Young Adult

Warnings: strong, bloody and disturbing violent content, language throughout, some sexual content, and brief graphic nudity.

Overall Rating – 8.5/10 – Excellent

Further Details

for more information about Bones and All, click here.