Discover more from (All (Parentheses))
Bones and All
Straining to be a YA spin on 𝘛𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 𝘋𝘢𝘺, 𝘉𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘈𝘭𝘭 barely eclipses 𝘛𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵
The beguiling opening scenes of Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All recall his warm, wonderful queer romance Call Me By Your Name. We’re in a small American town in the 1980s. High-schooler Maren Yearly (Taylor Russell) is a model of endearing awkwardness, clearly wanting to come out of her shell but just needing a little push. When one of Maren’s classmates invites her to a sleepover, it’s the perfect opportunity to face her adolescent fears.
There are a few things that feel off, though, such as how Maren treads a little too uncomfortably into her friend’s space, or the moment, later that evening, when Maren’s father, Frank (André Holland), latches the door of her bedroom as if locking in a wild animal. The bewitching atmosphere truly shifts when Maren sneaks out to the sleepover. Her stealthiness is a tad too purposeful, more instinctive than rebellious. When she gets to her friend’s house, there’s an erotic undercurrent to how the girls interact, a sprightly and naïve sensuality that Guadagnino excels at portraying, though the juvenile longings feel somehow hungrier than normal. It’s not surprising, then, when Maren puts her friend’s finger in her mouth and devours it to the bone.
Maren is an “eater,” a normal person in all respects…except for her hankering for human flesh. For much of her life, she and her father have been itinerant, since there’s no telling when her ravenous urges may emerge. Initially, it seems like we’re in for a Let the Right One In-style tale of a parent shuttling their monstrous yet still beloved child to the next American backwater, where they can both start anew.
Thanks for reading (All (Parentheses)). Subscribe for free!