Bones And All: 8 Feelings I Had Watching Timothée Chalamet’s Cannibal Romance

Timothee Chalamet and Taylor Russell as Lee and Maren in Bones And All
(Image credit: MGM)

Aside from Terrifier 2, which I haven’t seen myself, but had fans vomiting in movie theaters, Bones And All might be the most gruesome 2022 movie release. Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino really went there with this one, as it follows a couple of teen cannibals who find each other on the road, both rejected for their flesh-eating behaviors. But underneath all the blood and guts, I also found a gooey center to the Timothée Chalamet-led twisted romance. I need to talk about it. 

Bones And All ignited a lot of feelings along the way. I’ll break down my emotional journey of the movie, but yes, it includes MAJOR SPOILERS. If you can stomach the gory movie itself, definitely check that out first before reading ahead.

Taylor Russell as Maren after eating a human finger in Bones And All

(Image credit: MGM)


Now I’ve watched a lot of horror movies with brutal and gory kills, but I just can’t be desensitized or not cringe at the visual of someone biting off someone’s finger, as Taylor Russell’s Maren does at the start of this movie while at a high school sleepover. The moment absolutely grossed me out, but didn’t hold a candle to what I was about to see some 20 minutes later. When Maren meets Mark Rylance’s Sully, and they feed on an old grandma together before he shows her a long wad of hair from all the humans he’s eaten. I wasn’t sure I was going to get through this movie. Knowing now that they were really eating cherries, chocolate and fruit roll-ups on set makes me feel better. 

Taylor Russell as Maren with headphones on a bus in Bones and All

(Image credit: MGM)


As much as part of me wanted to cover my eyes from all the horrors of what was being set up for Taylor Russell’s Maren, I was also intrigued by the story being set up. I was perplexed as to what would make Maren thirsty for human blood and how she’d go out and survive in a world with this inclination. Especially as she listened to her father’s tape about how he’d discovered her identity and we met Sully, there was a mix of confusion and interest in the cannibal lore this movie was trying to establish. And, in my opinion, Bones And All, falls a bit short of its world building. Cannibalism is a gene? Later I would better come to terms with it as an exaggerated metaphor for otherness. 

Maren and Lee kissing in Bones And All

(Image credit: MGM)


Bones And All then got me more invested when Timothée Chalamet’s Lee meets Maren and they realize they are both eaters. As the pair of cannibals get to know each other, stick with one another through their wandering road trips and we learn their heartbreaking backstories, I found myself finding compassion for these two lonely cannibals. Of course, it’s fiction, I’m allowed! 

One moment that particularly stuck out to me was when Maren and Lee are hanging out in a barn and Maren points out how all the cows before them have families who will miss them once they are slaughtered to become food. The scene really put into perspective how regular meat-eaters could be seen just as negatively, because they are consuming a life, but because we liken the animals we eat to not have free will and less than, it’s not thought of as murder. 

A Bloody Timothée Chalamet sits in a truck bed in Bones and All.

(Image credit: MGM)


One of two horrifying scenes Bones and All builds to is Maren finally finding and meeting her mother (played by Chloé Sevigny) after living her entire life not knowing who she was. The moment when Maren first enters the mental institution of her mother, I was optimistic it might be a tearful reunion, but wow, was I wrong. When Maren enters, she finds her mother’s arms are nubs and she was ready to eat her own before Maren hurriedly left. I can’t even imagine the absolute heartbreak of meeting a parent in that condition and them trying to eat you. It almost sounds comical now, but that scene was terrifying to see through Maren's eyes. 

Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell in Bones and All.

(Image credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures)


No wonder Timothée Chalamet’s fans ended up shutting down the carpet for this movie, he’s an incredible actor. After Maren leaves for a little bit, she finds Lee and confesses her love to him, and he admits he ate his entire dad “bones and all” after he went blood thirsty for him and his sister. When the pair decide to settle down in one place, get an apartment together and normal jobs, I felt hopeful that maybe these cannibals could make it in the world despite their otherness, framed as hereditary in the movie, and lifetime of pain. Maybe, they could find happiness and break the cycle of their parents. 

Mark Rylance as Sully in Bones and all

(Image credit: MGM)


Then Sully comes back, right to their peaceful haven away from the terrors of the world. And let me say, the entire movie I felt an underlying anxiety regarding Sully. He clearly has an odd fascination with Maren, given the reveal a bit earlier he had followed her ever since he met her. When he breaks into her home and then pins her on the bed, I was so stressed about what was going to happen. Thankfully, Lee walks in the door with groceries and they take him down together. 

Timothee Chalamet and Taylor Russell in Bones And All

(Image credit: United Artists)


I couldn’t believe it, but tears began welling up as we learn Lee has been stabbed by Sully and he’s dying in Maren’s arms. As she tries to get him up to go to emergency, he’s already given up and he must know that she can’t waltz into the hospital in the state he’s in with no questions asked. He asks her to “love me, eat me.” And, she does. Thank goodness they don’t show it all, but I was not expecting what Luca Guadagnino called a “beautiful love story,” to feel as such, though incredibly tragic. No wonder the reviews for Bones and All were so positive

Timothée Chalamet in Bones & All

(Image credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and United Artists Releasing)


As the end credits rolled, I felt in awe of the direction of Bones and All. The story could have easily been a distasteful, ridiculous cannibal love story, and hey, in some ways it is. But, it made me feel so much and I really loved the pacing and development of Maren and Lee. It goes to show that a good script, great performances and an eye like Luca Guadagnino could make cannibals falling in love get me feeling all kinds of emotions. 

While I’m still getting over the WTF gruesomeness of Bones and All, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it to everyone I see, I found my experience seeing the movie in theaters to be memorable and affecting. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.