Do yourself a favour, don’t watch the damn trailer.
To The Bone is one of the latest Netflix Original films to pop up on our screens, and I can assure you it’s worth the watch. I did not initially have this opinion however. You see I made the terrible mistake of watching the trailer a week beforehand, and oh my, you can certainly add this to the long list of trailers that will leave you with a dramatically different concept of what a film is going to be.
The trailer for To The Bone sets the scene of a typical, light-hearted teenage coming of age story, with all the necessities: humour, young love, friendship and just a slither of anorexia thrown in as a character building story arc, all backed by the most upbeat fucking soundtrack that they could swing without reaching Barney and Friends levels of happiness. It was not good, and, needless to say, my expectations were drastically low. However, I can assure you, after watching the film, the trailer did not at all depict the truly gorgeous and human story that director and writer Marti Noxon was able to present.
To The Bone tells the story of Ellen (Lily Collins), a young woman struggling with anorexia nervosa. In short, the film follows Ellen’s journey through treatment with a slightly unconventional doctor (Keanu Reeves)—but this is certainly not the entire scope of the film. The audience is presented with a multifaceted view of Ellen’s life, showing the complications that she and those around her have to deal with every moment of every day. However, it is her relationships with the people around her that really make this film worth the watch.
The creators have managed to capture the hopeless and frustrating nature of human relationships when faced with fucked up situations with impressive detail. The characters say the wrong things, they make excuses, they have terrible coping mechanisms and somehow each manages to both disappoint and support the other. Each of Ellen’s relationships is established uniquely throughout the film and each gives us an entirely different insight into her story.
You should approach this film with an open mind; tackling any topic as serious as anorexia on screen is always going to have its downfalls and, subsequently, its critics. To The Bone has certainly managed to capture a very convincing observation of how one person’s turmoil will innately effect every other aspect of their life, particularly the other people it is shared with.
Whether this film accurately depicts life with anorexia in an appropriate manner is difficult to answer, but I can assure you that To The Bone is remarkable in its representation of human nature and relationships. No matter who you are or what your story entails, you will connect with these characters, because they’re just so human.