Funny how most of our free-for-all choices veer towards the weird, wonderful and macabre. This week is no exception as we explore the unusual delicacy of human flesh.

Makes you think: is there really a fringe faction out there chowing down on their fellow man?

Bones and All (2022)
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Timothée Chalamet, Taylor Russell, Mark Rylance


Maren, a young woman, learns how to survive on the margins of society.

*Minor spoilers*

Getting fingered at a sleepover takes on new meaning when Maren (Russell) gives in to her macabre desires and attacks a classmate, partially severing her finger (IYKYK). Panicked by her behaviour, and not even supposed to have sneaked out that night, she runs home. Her father, Frank (André Holland) hurriedly packs up their possessions and relocates them to Maryland. From his reaction, we’re to ascertain that this isn’t the first time they’ve had to flee in the same way.

Shortly after Maren turns 18, her father abandons her, leaving her money, her birth certificate and a cassette tape outlining her first cannibalistic episode, where she killed and ate her babysitter, aged three. Turns out Maren’s life has been peppered with similar incidents, all of which he’s helped her cover up. Now, devastated by her lack of remorse, he’s finally done with her shit, hoping she’ll overcome her urges on her own or at least, deal with the consequences.

Maren makes the decision to travel to Minnesota where her estranged mother was from in the hope of finding her – and so begins a road trip of epic proportion!

Along the way, Maren meets Sully (Rylance), a fellow ‘eater’ who says he can sense people like him by their scent. She returns to the place he’s staying to find its owner dead and in the morning, partakes in a breakfast of champions with Sully. While he’s keen to take Maren under his wing and teach her all the ways of their ‘kind’, she flees soon afterwards.

Later she meets the lovely Lee (Chalamet) and the pair bond over an altercation in a supermarket. They decide to team up to find Maren’s mother and fall in love as they travel across country. Things are pretty sweet, though Maren has concerns about Lee’s secret past, Sully’s not done with his plan to make her his companion – and well, there is the perpetual urge to eat everybody.

I won’t list every little thing that happens from hereon in, just know that Maren learns more about who she is from her mother and the fledging affair between our two lovers is truly tested – will they make it?

I mean, honestly, if love doesn’t make me want to chew on my partner’s face and body, do I really want it? That is the question. I should caveat my thoughts with this: in a non-Armie Hammer way, of all the darkest fetishes, cannibalism is one I actually understand. Not to this extreme obvs but with someone I’m really attracted to, I can imagine taking a bite out of them. Just me?

This film really straddles the romance/horror genres successfully and that’s pretty hard to get right. While the subject matter is brutal, both Lee and Maren are likeable enough that you remain rooting for them, even when they take life. There’s no moral code at play here either, which I appreciate – while a couple of their victims are the worst, they’re not so evil that their killers are cleansing the earth by despatching them.

The film looks stunning, with painfully fit leads in Russell and Chalamet – while the cinematography just adds to the dreamy romance of it all. The cannibalism is hard to watch at times, but even harder to listen to, and does act as a reminder that, no matter how intimate the act of eating someone might be, real life is fading away before us.

If I had to critique anything it would be that there are slightly slow parts – which fit the narrative, honestly – and our boy Chalamet’s character can feel a little bit like some of his others. That’s not to slag off his skills, just Lee isn’t the most realised character, which again might be deliberate given his personal secrets. But all in all, I really loved this and feel as though it’s lingered ever since.


What does Jill make of Bones and All? Would she nibble on it tenderly or switch to a vegetarian diet STAT? Find out here.

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