Bones And All Director Claims Timothee Chalamet’s Movie Is ‘A Beautiful Love Story’ And Not A Just Cannibalism Film, And I’m Sorry, But No

Timothee Chalamet in Bones and All
(Image credit: MGM/WB)

There are certain movies that you watch once, and know in the moment you will never sit through them again. They bounce off of you, or worse, they offend you in such a way that you can appreciate someone else’s affinity for it, but you understand deep down that the movie wasn’t made for you. This is my current stance on Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All, a cannibalism movie that he’s trying to spin as a love story. Which it is. But after it’s deemed a cannibalism story, and certainly not before… no matter how many times the director tries to speak it into existence. 

Bones and All reteams Luca Guadagnino with his Call Me By Your Name star Timothee Chalamet, and plenty of people have been pointing out the fact that this duo is making a cannibalism movie while their other Name co-star, Armie Hammer, has his name embroiled in a flesh-eating scandal. That has to be strange, at the very least. But while doing press on behalf of Bones and All as them movie makes its way to theaters, Guadagnino spins to Radio Times that he really made a tender love story between Chalamet and co-star Taylor Russell (Escape Room), that just happens to be about people who eat human flesh. According to Guadagnino:

[The audience] should hear first 'love story.' They should hear first like a fable, like a dark fable about trying to thrive with love. … I wasn't planning on making this movie. And this movie came to me and when I read the script I didn't read it as a horror movie, I read it as a beautiful love story between two kids who are disenfranchised and burdened by a kind of nature that they cannot escape somehow. That's how I deciphered the book, the script. Yes, they're cannibals and yes, this must come across through the movie with darkness. But I wasn't really thinking in terms of genre.

I’m sorry, Luca, but no. You can’t introduce the concept of cannibalism into a movie like Bones and All and not expect it to be the dominant topic of conversation leaving the movie, or appear shocked that this is the angle audiences need to dial into, as opposed to the conventional love story between “disenfranchised” youth. Because yes, as you can tell from the Bones and All trailer, there is a budding romance between the characters played by Timothee Chalamet and Taylor Russell as she comes to terms with the fact that she craves human flesh. The reviews for the film have been largely positive, though they all – to a review – comment on the cannibalism angle. Because you can’t slide it aside and focus on the romance when characters like Mark Rylance’s Sully are feasting on a fresh corpse. 

Bones and All is currently playing in theaters, but is struggling to break through at the box office as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever dominates screens. But year-end award nominations could continue to keep Bones and All in the conversation, especially with the buzz created by Timothee Chalamet in everything that he does. Just don’t be fooled into thinking this isn’t a cannibalism movie. Because it is. And that’s a huge part of the reason I’ll never sit through Bones and All ever again.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.