A father locks his 18-year-old daughter, Maren, in her bedroom. But she flees through the window to attend a birthday party. Which escalates when Maren bites off a girlfriend’s finger. It’s too much for his father, who abandons him. Left to her own devices, Maren goes in search of her mother. She crosses paths with Lee, another adrift teenager who also feels the irrepressible need to feast on human flesh…
Definitely, Luca Guadagnino is never where you expect him. The 51-year-old Sicilian director, who exploded five years ago with Call Me by Your Name confirms his taste for horror cinema after a first foray with Suspiria (2018), his remake of Dario Argento’s eponymous classic.
Raw graphic violence
This time, he stages two loneliness who meet and comfort each other, in the grip of an existential crisis in a road movie sketching the unvarnished portrait of a deep America which considers them to be monsters. The heroine, in search of her origins, identity and emancipation, must accept her condition.
I recognize myself in these young people who suffer from the gaze of others, pushed to the margins because of their oddity
The description of the love story, which turns into an all-consuming passion, evokes both Edvard Munch’s painting and the Twilight saga. With the difference that the graphic violence during the wandering is raw, in line with Trouble Every Day (2001), where Claire Denis already explored the notion of cannibalism with the same singularity and the same radicality. “If it’s an adaptation of Camille DeAngelis’ novel, Bones and All is my most personal film, says Luca Guadagnino. I recognize myself in these young people who suffer from the gaze of others, pushed to the margins because of their oddity, and in the way they feel isolated and vulnerable. »
What the filmmaker felt after the death of his father during the pandemic. “He was 88, but you’re never prepared for that. » He traveled the United States for filming needs. “That I fantasized as a child in Italy, he said. My sensitivity is European, but I place myself at the same height as my protagonists. » He finds Timothée Chalamet, 26, whom he revealed in Call Me by Your Name . “A brilliant boy, who combines seduction and humility. I would follow him to the end of the world! »
Bones and All **
By Luca Guadagnino, with Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell McKenzie. 2 h 10. Forbidden to children under 16. Out Wednesday.