Photo: ‘Bones and All’
There’s a new cinematic enigma making its way to theaters this November. ‘Bones and All’ starring Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet is a new film that bends the concepts of genre, and will be released in time for Thanksgiving. Nothing like a dark romance slash horror slash coming-of-age slash road trip movie to get you in the mood for some turkey. Directed by Luca Guadagnino, who previously worked with Chalamet on ‘Call Me by Your Name,’ and based on the novel by Camille DeAngelis, the story takes place in the 80s and follows two lovers as they make a cross-country journey. The only catch is…they’re cannibals.
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That’s quite a catch if you ask anyone. It certainly makes you ask more questions, or squirm where you sit. The official trailer for the film was released a few days ago, and there’s a lot to take from it. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival this year, where Guadagnino won the Silver Lion award for Best Director. Reviews and responses thus far have built the project up to be promising and to be thrown into the Academy Award discussions. Though we only have one trailer, we have less than two months before the film graces the big screens.
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The Aesthetic of the Trailer
Trailers have a big job to do. They have to stir intrigue, let the audience know what they’d be getting themselves into, set the tone, and make an adequate companion to the film itself, all the while not giving too much away. For ‘Bones and All,’ the trailer succeeds in each of these areas. With the song: “You Want It Darker” sung by Leonard Cohen in the background, the trailer introduces us to Russell and Chalamet’s characters and pieces together the overall aesthetic for the film. It feels intimate and artistic, and there are definitely darker themes in the works. The mixing of genres is more than apparent, with an emphasis on the horror meets romance element, though the road trip aspect of the film is also brought to light. The 80s vibes are quieter, allowing the film to shine through without feeling like nostalgia bait or over-the-top antics. Chalamet sports pink hair, and there is already tangible chemistry between him and Russell as the leads and as a romantic pairing.
The trailer doesn’t shy away from telling the audience that there’s horror in it, with minor glimpses of gore. This demonstration bodes well in that it sends the right message to the audience. Certain moviegoers aren’t going to appreciate this film or feel the need to view it, and that’s alright. It’s not an “everybody” movie, it has a very specific pull and declares itself for niche viewing. You can recognize how those who’ve worked on this project are aware that it isn’t for everyone, and aren’t trying to please too many parties at once. They are just letting this work speak for itself, and releasing this trailer to draw in the right audience. The performances, the cinematography, and the overall aesthetic take everything to the next level, and this is just the trailer. It all further conveys the dedication behind this film, and identifies the type of audience member who would be drawn to watch it.
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Bones and All – A Terrifying Premise
The title on its own elicits a certain reaction, so we can only imagine the reaction the film will garner when it is released for general audiences. Earlier this year, the world received another film about a cannibal searching for some romance, ‘Fresh’ starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sebastian Stan. Despite its dark and chilling premise, the film reached popularity within the horror community and Sebastian Stan fandom for its performances, strategic writing, and themes that accompanied the terror. Though they have different tones, it’s more than possible for ‘Bones and All’ to reach the same amount of popularity, if not more considering award season is just around the corner.
One angle which serves well for the film is its method of mixing genres together. Genre is the bones (no pun intended) that serve to structure and ground any film. By utilizing romantic and horror elements, along with other genres and subgenres thrown into the pile, it raises a bunch of questions and stirs that sweet intrigue. How are we supposed to root for these characters individually if they have such dark tendencies? How are we supposed to root for them together? The premise is just a lot to take in, but if the film can execute an eloquent story and provide sufficient answers to all these questions, it can surpass expectations.
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The Beauty of Originality
Yet another insight the trailer provided was the true originality of this film. From what we know of both the style and the substance, we can infer this is going to be a film unlike any other that came before it. Though the phrase “unlike anything before” is distinctively not as original as it wants to be, it’s safe to say ‘Bone and All’ is finding its place among original content. It’s so hard to be original nowadays, and most films that enter theaters are blockbuster bait and franchise installments. This one isn’t a typical blockbuster, nor is it a part of a franchise. It is just an artistic film. It’ll be interesting to see how faithful the journey of the movie is to the book it’s based on, but it’s more than likely it will stand on its own.
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There are so many compelling films releasing soon as the holiday season is rolling around – the prime time for Oscar contenders and other films aiming to make a memorable mark. ‘Bones and All’ adds an interesting addition to the theatrical release line-up, and the trailer and other revealed material continue to add to the intrigue surrounding the film. Hopefully, the aesthetic, premise, and originality all pay off and give the world an enthralling experience. If you’re not scared away, and the film seems up-your-alley, give the trailer a watch, and maybe, just maybe, take a chance and go to the theater to watch ‘Bones and All.’
By Rachel Beltowski
Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.
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Rachel Beltowski is a screenwriter and film critic, with a passion for character-driven stories and thought-provoking themes. From adventure to horror, Rachel enjoys stories which take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster and allow for personal expression that would otherwise go silent. Rachel was drawn to The Hollywood Insider’s dedication to individual perspectives and positive world impacts. The Hollywood Insider has provided a foundation for Rachel to share her insights and leap into the center of the entertainment industry. Rachel hopes to bring a fresh voice into the world of film and television, and share her love of stories with others.