Sitges had set the bar very high after closing the last edition with a long-awaited film such as The Green Knight. Normally the event’s history with its choices of films to close the festival usually leaves much to be desired, but this year it has been able to follow the good path that began with David Lowery’s latest film and create expectation. The chosen one has been nothing more and nothing less than Bones and All the latest film by another great acquaintance of the festival, Luca Guadagniigno, who a few years ago already opened the competition with his version of Sighs.

Bones and All is an unclassifiable work that mixes romantic drama, horror movies and the horror genre. road trip. The film follows a teenage girl (Taylor Russell) who, due to her uncontrollable cannibalistic tendencies, is abandoned by her father. The young woman decides to run away in search of her mother on a journey in which she will meet more people like her and in which she will find an ally of hers (Timothée Chalamet) with whom she will fall in love little by little. The work combines several interesting aspects that are treated with a tone that is sometimes excessively melodramatic but that generate a feeling of discomfort in the viewer. The result is that of a peculiar coming of age that treats cannibalism with the naturalness with which any other type of mental and physical disorder could be treated, serving to unite characters repudiated by society. But the three key points for the functioning of the film are somewhat outside the narrative experiment. First of all, a magnificent cinematography reminiscent of Malick’s films and is postulated as an improved version of Nomadland. Secondly, a soundtrack developed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross with an acoustic guitar base that, far from sounding strident, goes hand in hand with melodrama. And finally, the superb interpretation of Mark Rylance in the role of one of the most disturbing and terrifying characters seen on the big screen in recent years. Rylance plays the first mentor of the young protagonist, a person with the same problem as her and who teaches her how to deal with it. His true intentions are hidden under the expressionless yet monstrous face of one of Hollywood’s most fascinating actors.

Guadagnino combines it To the Bones: Bones and All his facet as creator of melodramas (Call Me by Your Name) and his skills as a horror filmmaker (Sighs). The result is something weak and poorly compensated, where the romantic aspect prevails more than the exploration of something as interesting as putting yourself in the shoes of a cannibal. But it cannot be denied that the work has something unique and different, being able to arouse a concern in a viewer who even has to make an effort to recognize what he is seeing on the big screen and the director’s intentions. Without a doubt, there will be Guadagnino for a while, and if he continues along this somewhat more experimental and exploratory path, he can give us great films.

Bones and All (Luca Guadagnino, 2022) ⭐️⭐️⭐️½


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