A Cannibal Couple on the Road
A little over a month away from its domestic release on November 18, MGM has dropped a second trailer for Luca Guadagnino’s Bones and All. While the first preview featured Leonard Cohen’s “You Want it Darker?” serenading a quick cut jog through the film’s imagery with little dialogue, the newest theatrical trailer eschews the song to allow for many spoken lines, and lengthier, yet still fleeting, flashes of scenes, characters, and plot-points.
Adapted from the 2015 novel by Camille DeAngelis, Bones and All has been described as a coming-of-age romantic cannibal road film but is most notable for being the latest vehicle for Timothée Chalamet, fresh off of a four-film run in 2021 (The French Dispatch, A Man Called Scott, Don’t Look Up). However, Chalamet, with his signature curly locks dyed in pink-ish red, isn’t given much special treatment among the clips, with only a few close-ups shining through.
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An Eater Meets an Eater
The trailer opens with what at first seems like a pleasant scene, a sleepover in a girl’s bedroom, with Taylor Russell (Escape Room) as Maren, a young woman we see getting a manicure from a friend. “You can’t spend the night?” the curious friend inquires. “Not all night,” Maren replies, and then is asked, “Where’d you move here from anyway?” “Eastern Shore,” she says. “Try that,” the girl offers her finger to smell, but Maren bites it, resulting in the girl’s blood-curdling scream.
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Now that we got the cannibalism theme and the movie’s chilling tone established, the screen is dominated by the outside darkness as Russell’s Maren runs out the door of the house, and into the nighttime, with a title declaring Director Guadagnino and a sinister synth beat revving up the film’s tension. We see Maren calling “Dad!” while banging on the front door to her father, played by André Holland, telling her, “When the cops get here, you have to be good and gone.” Over strained shots of Maren’s angst, Holland can be heard in voice-over: “I can’t help you any more; I know it’s not your fault. You were born this way – you ate them, you had to, I don’t know why.”
Maren takes a bus out of town and shortly after, in what looks like either the early morning dawn or right at dusk, meets Chalamet as Lee. “I smelt you. I didn’t know I could do that,” Maren says to the bare-chested, torn-jeans-wearing Chalamet. Cut to them sitting in a car, with Maren telling Lee she thought she was the only one. “I don’t want to hurt anybody,” Maren emotionally exclaims to Lee’s dry reply: “Famous last words.”
Love and Cannibalism on the Road
As their road trip begins, a title tells us, “This November,” we get flashes of the couples’ relationship deepening. The slight feeling of uplift is interrupted by a menacing Mark Rylance in the shadows as a character named Sully, who puts forth in a frightening manner that, “’I came looking for you.” Maren tells Lee that Sully could smell her half a mile away and asks if he could do the same. “Not that far,” is Lee’s reply, then another mouthful from Rylance’s Sully: “I got rules for you, never ever ever eat an eater!”
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The cuts come quicker, with more sinister imagery including blood-stained beds, Maren frantically running, and an unnerving pan over a stern-looking Native American in a street scene, with a voice-over from Lee instructing that “We don’t have many options, either you eat, you off yourself, or you lock yourself up in there!”
Several other threatening types are shown in creepy close-ups, amid shots of rowdy cannibals clamoring, as the trailer climaxes in a montage of action with more urgent running, scary in-your-face close-ups, and various violent images decorated with such lines as “You’ve been following me,” and “We’ve got unfinished business.”
Bones and All, via this second theatrical trailer, posits itself as an intense love story with the blood of cannibalism coursing through it. While little music can be heard, Oscar-winning composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are sure to provide power to this project via their superb score-work. The little-seen supporting cast in the preview, including Michael Stuhlbarg, Chloë Sevigny, Jessica Harper, David Gordon Green, Jake Horowitz, Francesca Scorsese, and Anna Cobb, will likely enhance the leads’ backing ensemble considerably.
This nearly two-minute and thirty-second trailer gives audiences a lot to chew on with its intriguing glimpse into the dangerously sexy world of Lee and Maren and how on edge their escapades will be when the film releases nationwide next month. Buzz has been strong for this film, being that it’s Guadagnino’s latest, which reunites him with Chalamet (and Stuhlbarg) from Call Me By Your Name, so it’ll be fascinating to see how movie-goers react to this particular Thanksgiving Day offering. It’s safe to say that, in this case, there certainly will be bones about it.