To the Bone

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The third of the Netflix movies that I wanted to watch was called To the Bone, and it was a tough one.

Lily Collins played Ellen, a young artist who is struggling with an eating disorder after a life of complications.  Ellen finds her way to a doctor (Keanu Reeves) whose methods are somewhat unconventional.  He admits her to his treatment facility, where she meets a group of others struggling with food.

Right off the bat, there are some imagery in this movie that is difficult to see.  Lily Collins is a tremendously beautiful girl who looks horrible.  At one point, her mother says that she “looks like a ghost” and that simile is an apt description.  I certainly hope that Lily did not starve herself for the role and that the images of her thinness was some sort of special effect.

The film is as much a character study of a young girl struggling with the difficulties of life as it is a picture about a disease, which is why To the Bone is as effective as it is.  Ellen (or Eli as she comes to be known) is a fully fleshed out character and her interactions with the other characters make you care even more for her.  The film also slowly dishes out the facts of her life that has led her to such a troublesome point, on the verge of her body shutting down.

At the treatment center, Eli meets Luke (Alex Sharp).  Luke is one of the most original and likeable characters you are going to find.  Every moment he was on screen was like a light through the troubles.  Now, the relationship with Eli and Luke might have been a little too quick, but the connection was definitely felt.  Alex Sharp was great as the always positive Luke.

Keanu Reeves was solid as Dr. Beckham, but he was not the star of the show.

To the Bone was a tough film to watch, but it is an important one to help understand something that, as a heavy individual, I find hard to comprehend.  Refusing to eat is something I cannot relate to, but I can relate to these characters and their troubles and, because of that, I can understand why they took the steps that they took.  This movie may not be for everyone, but it was powerful.

3.8 stars

 

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