All guts, no glory

“When you’re 140 pounds wet, you have to have an attitude.” So says Timothée Chalamet in Bones and everything, taking one of the few intentionally funny lines in director Luca Guadagnino’s hilariously cannibal romantic drama and giving it a bit of wit, a self-deprecating topspin. The title of Camille DeAngelis’ 2015 YA novel about a pair of star-crossed, flesh-eating lovers roaming the Reagan-era United States, alludes to its protagonists’ bizarre taste habits, but also serves as a double entendre about It Boy’s main title. . No matter how much human viscera Les Chalamet eats over the course of 130 minutes, his A-list rib cage remains visible through his emaciated torso.

Chalamet isn’t really a star Bones and everything: That would be Taylor Russell (was eye catching a few years ago at waves), whose character as 18-year-old Marin provides our entry point into a slightly skewed yet natural world. It’s 1988 in the heartland of the United States, jobs are scarce, and in every small town, a few secretive drifters lead a bloodthirsty double life, picking off loners and eating them under cover of night. In a carefully crafted and largely effective prologue, we meet Maren, who lives in a Virginia trailer park with her single father (Andre Holland). They are tight-lipped, but Dad leaves his affection with wary concern. Marin tells a high school classmate that he’s being overprotective, but there’s clearly something else going on.

Later, after sneaking out to sleep—that is, a possible make-out session—with her new boyfriend, Marin takes the other girl’s hand to check her manicure. She ends up chewing the skin off the bone like a chicken wing. She rushed home in a panic, and was greeted by her father, who was less terrified than disappointed—succumbed to the peripatetic lifestyle we’ve been accumulating for some time now. Bring whatever you can, he tells her, and get in the car.

Gross stuff, sure, and of all the bizarre turns major international filmmakers have taken in recent years, Guadagnino’s gritty turn into physical horror is perhaps the toughest. In blooming and campy dramas like I am the love And the bigger splash, the Italian director displayed a wild but real knack for hyperbole with vision and tone, surfing briskly on the crashing waves of emotion. The latter is notable for sumptuous storytelling and several moments of power, particularly Ralph Fiennes’ full-body lip-synching to The Rolling Stones’ “Emotional Rescue” (a set piece that recurs in Bones and everything When Chalamet riffs over Kiss’s “Lick It Up”).

in 2017 call me by your name, Guadagnino found a way to filter the larger-than-life pop art sensibility through literary pedigree and ended up with one of the most beloved images of prestige in recent years: an audience delight that still retains a degree of mystery. Before he can be mentioned and given his death speech – and dismissed from his significance as Chalamet’s official movie star party – the film has won praise as an energetic, offbeat, perceptive tale, one attuned to youthful anxieties about love. gender and identity. The magic of Chalamet’s performance lies in how his inexperienced character uses pride to mask and deflect uncertainty; Tom Cruise indangerous work Charisma was filled with an air of believable confusion.

Given the cool, sun-drenched vibes of his biggest hits, it still seems very strange that Guadagnino’s next move was to attempt a remake. sobssenior compatriot Dario Argento canon 1977 Giallo, a film that not only got everything right the first time, but did so with such flair and idiosyncrasy that any attempts to replicate it would be doomed to fail. To his credit, Guadagnino didn’t really try to repeat sobs Or his dark red aesthetic, but unfortunately the elements he added—like the episodic six-part structure, gray color scheme, and some voluminous sociopolitical text—illuminated nothing new. In fact, it has turned the fun in Argento into an uphill climb. long, obscenely violent, and ultimately less subversive than anesthesia, Don’t sigh It was the kind of failure only a talented and ambitious filmmaker could do. The hypothetical silver lining was that, after getting it out of his system, perhaps the director could steer clear of genre tropes for which he hadn’t really shown real talent.

Bones and everything Not as brutally drawn out sobs, and the shock-to-amaze ratio is slightly narrower. (It also doesn’t have anything as geeky as its predecessor’s latex-studded, three-act performance by Tilda Swinton, whose faith in her director was misplaced.) For that, really, along with the high-performance filmmaker who presides over the project with complete, self-conscious control. Where some mistakes are clearly the result of either creative indecision or behind-the-scenes chaos, Bones and everything Sounds like the movie Guadagnino wanted to make. It’s (wonderfully) shot in rusty abyss by cinematographer Arseniy Khachaturan, who can charge rural landscapes at dusk with real, creeping menace; The quick, sometimes elliptical editing by Marco Costa mixes up the language of jump-horror clichés. The filmmaking is accomplished, even ingenious in places, and with all its apparent efforts has mostly succeeded in reminding us of other, better stabs at similar themes and visuals, including and especially Claire Denis’ 2001 thriller problem every daywith its nightmarish conflation of death and desire.

While no one will call problem every day An accessible movie, at least He offered an explanation, however vague, for why the characters played by Beatrice Dahl and Vincent Gallo would try to literally consume their sexual partners. What’s strange Bones and everything is that the predation of their discerning “eaters” — not just Marin and Lee, but an older, more life-experienced Sully (Mark Rylance) — doesn’t seem to “mean” anything. It’s not symbolic or suggestive, just devoid of anything resembling class, gender, or generational tensions. There is no obvious metaphor here as in the zombie films of George A. Romero and his offspring, no visceral sense as philosophy as David Cronenberg pioneered it.

This lack of intellect isn’t necessarily a problem: the moment every other mess at A24 is described as a treatise on shock, we could use more good, straightforward horror films (which in turn explains the strong box office of A24). barbaric And the smiling). The thing is, Guadagnino, with his high-pitched approach, isn’t the one to give it to us. Nor will he even try. Each neatly framed shot drops and I-love-the-’80s-wink-needle drops Bones and everything Artistic intent drops to the point of parody, yet it never builds into anything like an actual artistic point of view. It’s as if Guadagnino simply discovered that by mixing together a number of films that, in various ways, touch raw and exposed nerves – most notably the lyricism of two lovers. Badlands And fatal interdependence Let the right one– He will hide under our skin. But by the time he shoots Lee he’s slashing an hapless victim with a crowbar like one of the monkeys 2001 (Or Daniel Day-Lewis at the end There will be blood), he moved into the quote world for it, so obviously scary.

The actors do what they can and, in Rylance’s case, more than they have to do. While there’s no danger of him winning an Oscar for an out-of-the-box film, the ornate British play gives a sort of landscape, for a Yorksideration performance that shows a mixture of wry amusement and malevolence, you’ve gotta do it – respect it – the same formula he applied to his non-technological mentor The socially competent steal the scene do not search. If Maren and Lee were essentially coveted zeros — vessels that allow Russell and Chalamet to curl their faces and tangle their limbs together excitedly in an attempt to get twilightThe pathos of Rylance Soule’s style is frankly a literary creation. He has a silly hat and a ponytail. He speaks in the third person, with a thick accent that has no place; He appears out of nowhere like a ghost. poses mysterious riddles. In terms of how he is used by the script, Soleil is quite a mechanical character, first introduced to provide an explanation of his and Marin’s condition (they can apparently sense each other, and others like themselves, across great distances by scent) and then a latent, potentially dangerous foil. .

Guadagnino likes when the cast is over the top, and Rylance faces competition in the supporting cast from Chloë Sevigny in a wordless, wide-eyed role as an institutional woman, and Jessica Harper (the star of the original). sobs) as Marin’s nervous grandmother. There’s also a memorable cameo, which I watch here, by Michael Stullberg (so good at Call me by your name) It runs as a self-contained short film – an example of the occasional cadence and stop-and-start that hampers the film as a whole. For road movies to work, they need a restless sense of momentum. Bones and everything It wobbles excruciatingly, especially in the middle when its characters’ guilt-ridden indecision about their way of life begins to feel repetitive rather than forced.

At one point during their travels, Lee and Maren visit a country carnival, and there’s a sweet, fleeting photo of them sitting together on a Ferris wheel, ice cream in hand. They could be typical American teenagers. Perhaps Guadagnino wants the entire movie to feel that way, like a series of shots that capture the exhilarating sensibilities of young love while hinting at the brutal impulses lurking beneath. The problem is that he’s so determined to indulge his own brutality that he ends up in the realm of pure provocation that impresses the audience. It’s a good place to be in, say, Lars von Trier, but it’s not no-man’s-land for a filmmaker whose rage or outrage always seems like an afterthought. The same maximalism that makes Guadagnino potentially vital in an ecosystem of art geared toward lesser authors is also more revealing of his bad taste—as opposed to tastelessness, which might have been better on this premise. The truly uninhibited exit may have been made Bones and everything Indelibly strange in Guadagnino’s dexterous but unsure hands, it’s an elaborate and pointless piece of masquerade exploitation film—a provocation without aim, point, or even a shelf life beyond the upcoming award season.

Adam Neiman film critic, teacher, and author based in Toronto; writing The Coen Brothers: This book really ties the films together Available now from Abrams.


#guts #glory

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