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The Crack Magazine

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Bones and All

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Stars: Taylor Russell, Timothée Chalamet, Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg

Luca Guadagnino’s latest, a genre juggler adapted from the novel by Camille DeAngelis, is an inspired and audacious melding of road movie, dark comedy and gruesome horror. Taylor Russell is Maren, an awkward teen living with her single father. Her outsider status is compounded by her taste for human flesh. She has to flee her home after a girls’ sleepover party takes a very bloody turn. On the road, in search of her mother, Maren encounters others with similar appetites: first the creepily ingratiating cannibal Sullly (Rylance with a sinister southern drawl) and later rebellious but sweet-natured rebel Lee (a bemulleted Chalamet). Lee joins Maren in the search for her mother and they grow very close. On their journey they encounter small kindnesses and threatening oddballs, the latter in the shape of a creepy hick (Stuhlbarg in an unnerving, indelible cameo). The picture is at once a tender outsider lyrical romance à la ‘Badlands’, with cinematographer Arseni Khachaturan locating a ramshackle beauty in the Regan-era run down US environs, and a chronicle of teen addiction. Guadagnino doesn’t stint on the gruesome horror, meaning this might not be for the faint-hearted, but he maintains sympathy for his ill-starred central characters, appealingly played by Russell and Chalamet. This being Guadagnino, the soundtrack is reliably great.

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