Director: Luca Guadagnino
Cast: Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance
Release Date: January 31, 2023
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Bones and All is a story of first love between Maren, a young woman learning how to survive on the margins of society, and Lee, an intense and disenfranchised drifter; a liberating road odyssey of two young people coming into their own, searching for identity and chasing beauty in a perilous world that cannot abide who they are.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Bones and All’ accompanies a young woman named Maren who after being abandoned by her father the moment she reached adulthood due to his struggles with her dangerous tendencies is forced to head out on the road alone in search of purpose. Planning to make her way to Minnesota in the hope of tracking down information about her mother that might provide some insight into her ways, Maren soon comes into contact with a similarly afflicted young man named Lee and the two quickly connect. As their cross-country trip progresses, the two begin to fall in love and soon find a hopeful connection together in a world that will never understand their ways.
Directed by Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name, Suspiria 2018) from a screenplay by David Kajganich (True Story) which was based on the novel by Camille DeAngelis, Guadagnino does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘Bones and All’ guiding along this dark and romantic tale with a unique sense of style, beauty and darkness. The film’s cast includes Taylor Russell (Escape Room), Timothée Chalamet (The French Dispatch), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), André Holland (Moonlight), Michael Stuhlbarg (The Shape of Water), Jessica Harper (Minority Report), Chloë Sevigny (Queen & Slim) and more, with the majority each offering solid performances for the most part in their respective roles, although Rylance tends to stand out and effortlessly steal every scene that he occupies.
‘Bones and All’ is a beautifully crafted tale that’s filled with as much heart and wonder as it is disturbing moments and chaos that all comes together into a powerful tale of young love, struggle and trying to find your place in a world that doesn’t want to accept you, as well as the euphoria and connection that unexpectedly results when you realize that you may not be nearly as alone as you assumed. It’s a curious combination of subjects, yet one that manages to work shockingly better than you would expect, even if many casual moviegoers are liable to be turned away by the shocking and often truly disturbing moments occurring throughout; something that shouldn’t be terribly shocking considering that this is a tale of two young cannibals after all.
Utilizing some clever and unique filming methods and camera shots that are repeatedly complemented by the gorgeous scenery and surroundings on display as we accompany our leads on a cross-country journey throughout the United States beginning in the late 1980’s and only benefitting further from the capable guidance of director Luca Guadagnino and some outstanding stars in the lead, not to mention a truly remarkable and unforgettable guest role by Mark Rylance. It all carefully comes together to make this into a moving, unsettling and remarkable love story that is well worth giving a chance if you can stomach the more unpleasant moments and carnage that accompany it and additionally help to make it something quite unique in its own right.
Overall, ‘Bones and All’ is a bleak love story with a horror edge at its core that accompanies a young woman with a taste for human flesh that finds familiarity and acceptance with a young man like her when she is forced to venture out into the world alone. Filled with heart, beauty and some gruesome sequences that are not for the easily queasy to form an unusual tale of young romance with bite. ‘Bones and All’ is definitely recommended for those who appreciate an offbeat romantic tale and can stomach some rather unpleasant and graphic moments along the way, not to mention some pitch black subject matter. If you’re at all interested in this one and don’t mind some notably disturbing content then ‘Bones and All’ should definitely be well worth taking a chance on.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Bones and All’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful and source faithful from start to finish and delivers an almost intentionally dull or muted filmic appearance that matches quite spectacularly to the film’s story and tone. It captures all of the various surroundings from one area to another beautifully and everything from character and vehicle specifics and both interior and exterior details look good in an almost old school type of way, with plenty of grain and other filmic artifacts present throughout and nothing unexpectedly suffering from any faults or issues arising along the way. Overall, this is a great high definition video presentation that should easily please first time viewers and fans alike.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack offers a clean, crisp and occasionally somewhat immersive audio presentation throughout. It takes advantage of all seven available channels on multiple occasions in order to send music, action, and nature and vehicle effects along with more throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, while keeping the often dialogue-focused activity sounding clean and fully audible as well and never clashing with any other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a very nice Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that delivers capably in every way required of it and shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Bones and All’ includes a collection of brief behind the scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of the film and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus some behind the scenes footage. The included Featurettes are ‘A Look Inside’ (running approximately 2 minutes in length), ‘Luca Guadagnino: The Vision of Bones and All’ (running approximately 1 minute), ‘Meet Lee’ (approximately 2 minutes), ‘Meet Maren’ (approximately 1 minute) and ‘Outsiders in Love’ (2 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
‘Bones And All’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures & Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment
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