The Telluride Movie Pageant offers an annual alternative to view auteurs of their pure habitat, a “mountain of cinema,” within the phrases of the occasion’s foot troopers, an occasion that courts cinéastes, forbids selfies and provides a potent bloody mary at its spectacular mountainside opening day brunch.
The flicks these award-winning filmmakers have dropped at this 12 months’s pageant have been a blended bag. Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light,” a valentine to film theaters, drew a turn-away crowd at its premiere and customarily met expectations with its star Olivia Colman masking a mess of narrative sins. Against this, pageant patrons largely shunned Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” after it was drubbed days earlier in Venice. And Todd Discipline, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of “In the Bedroom” and “Little Children,” returned after a 16-year hiatus with “Tár,” an immaculately crafted provocation assured to divide audiences and win Cate Blanchett one other Oscar.
Then there’s Luca Guadagnino’s “Bones and All,” a young story of younger love starring Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell as nice younger cannibals making an attempt to barter their natures and doing their greatest to ethically supply their subsequent meal. “This doesn’t seem like a Telluride movie,” an older pageant patron mused, debating whether or not to attend a late-night screening. And on first look, it doesn’t, which, in some methods, makes “Bones and All” the proper Telluride film, a love story spiritually attuned to Terrence Malick’s “Badlands” and possessing an acute understanding of what individuals on society’s margins should do to outlive.
It’s additionally a film that opens with its protagonist, shy teenager Maren (Russell, who was a serious discover three years in the past within the unsung gem “Waves”), going to a sleepover and, within the midst of some genial bonding over nail colours, chomps down and devours a classmate’s finger right down to the nub.
Guadagnino has been making films for practically 1 / 4 century and, in fact, is greatest identified for guiding and producing one other coming-of-age love story, 2017’s “Call Me by Your Name,” which earned 4 Oscar nominations, together with greatest image, and launched cries of “Timothéeeeeeeeeeeee” into the ether.
Chalamet earned a kind of Oscar nods, and he’s equally good in “Bones and All.” (He at all times delivers, even when solid reverse sandworms.) Right here, Chalamet performs Lee, an “eater” who meets Maren after she has been deserted by her father, not lengthy after the sleepover incident. They share greater than a necessity for human flesh. They’ve each been ostracized by their households and society. Lee has adopted a “big attitude” as a result of, as he notes, he’s “140 pounds, wet.” He aggressively dances round to the KISS anthem “Lick It Up,” a part of a document assortment of one among his victims. (For some music snobs, proudly owning that album would itself benefit a loss of life sentence.)
Chalamet is a grasp at conveying wounded fragility, and he’s balanced right here by Russell in what must be a star-making flip that’s remembered lengthy into the awards season. Maren shakes off her self-loathing and turns into not only a survivor however somebody hopeful that she will partake in some semblance of a standard life. If this sounds a bit too romantic for a cannibal film, do know that Mark Rylance can be onboard, taking part in a creepy, old-timer eater having the time of his life stripping to his tighty whities to savor a feast of human flesh.
“Bones and All” shall be a problem to Oscar voters preferring their cannibals to eat their victims’ livers with some fava beans and a pleasant Chianti offscreen. However Guadagnino has delivered a movie that’s, in some ways, simply as luxurious as “Call Me by Your Name,” minus all the gorgeous Italian countryside and the fragile James Ivory screenplay. (David Kajganich tailored “Bones and All” from Camille DeAngelis’ novel.)
Gluttons for good films although will devour it.