Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Fine Young Cannibals

Bones and All (2022) - Guadagnino BONES AND ALL (2022) Guadagnino's new film, based on YA novel, Bones and All, shows he might be the personification of a tribute band in a filmmaker form. It doesn't matter how technically impressive your guitar riff is at Black Dog, you are no Jimmy Page. After attempting to contextualize Dario Argento's camp classic Suspiria with serious pomp, A Bigger Splash, a La picine remake, with lesser results, Guadagnino is at it again with this American YA novel adaptation and pulls influences from every direction and packages it as Terence Malarkey Americana.

Here, cannibals equal vampires or werewolves or zombies. Maren (Taylor Russell) is a high schooler with a secret. And that secret is revealed at a girl’s sleepover (is it middle school or high school?) when she sneaks out from her dilapidated home, proving that her overly protective father (André Holland)'s concern. She has an insatiable hunger for human flesh. This also explains why they have been traveling all around, never stick to one place to settle, always on the edge of abject poverty. Soon father abandons her, leaving her with some money and her birth certificate and a cassette tape explaining what she is.

Soon she finds a fellow cannibal in the form of an older eccentric man, Sully (Mark Rylance). Who says he can smell a fellow cannibal from miles. This is Maren's first realization that there are others like her out there. But Sully seems too creepy to stick around with. Traveling all over Mid-West, looking for mom who might hold the key to her existence, she meets Lee (Timothée Chalamet), a charming grocery store clerk who happens to be a cannibal too and they become traveling companion.

Michael Stuhlbarg, David Gorden Green show up as fellow hick cannibals. Jessica Harper also has a role as grandma. And unfortunately, Chloë Sevigny seems stuck on playing a crazy mom character, forever. Rylance is, as always, so dependable a character actor, he steals the show, playing truly creepy adversary to the young lovers who are trying to have a go at being regular people. Chalamet is always the same. Riding his boyish charm and nonchalance, attracting attention from both sexes. And a forever boy who is super awkward at playing a grownup. Russell is very good as a young woman on the path of self-discovery and finding true love.

So, what is Bones and All about? Why is it set in 90s? The more you think about the film, there is nothing really you can hold on to and less you like it. 'True love needs to be consumed bones and all' is too much of an emo song lyric to be taken seriously. Is this about Gen-Xer's rejection of the Boomers? Is this about consumerism? Or is this some silly teen romance with pacing problems? Either way, it's so skin-deep.