Judgment was a big topic at the press conference for Luca Guadagnino’s Venice Film Festival competition entry Bones And All this afternoon. Star Timothée Chalamet, returning to the Lido after last year’s triumphant world premiere of Dune, sounded a gloomy outlook when asked his thoughts on the plight of young people today and their experiences with being judged for their choices, particularly in the age of social media.

“To be young now is to be intensely judged,” he said. In Bones And All, “It was a relief to play characters who are wrestling with an internal dilemma absent the ability to go on Reddit or Twitter or Instagram or TikTok and figure out where they fit in. Without casting judgment on that, because if you can find your tribe there, then all the power. But I think it’s tough to be alive now. I think societal collapse is in the air, it smells like it, and without being pretentious, I hope that’s why these movies matter because that’s the role of the artist is to shine a light on what’s going on.”

Bones And All reunites Chalamet with his Call My By Your Name director Guadagnino and also stars Waves breakout Taylor Russell as well as Mark Rylance, Michael Stuhlbarg, Chloë Sevigny and David Gordon Green.

Based on the book by Camille DeAngelis and adapted by David Kajganich, the film tells the story of Maren (Russell) and Lee (Chalamet), two unlikely companions who unite in America’s Midwest in the 1980s after Maren is abandoned by her father. As they make their way across the country, their shared compulsion to feast on human flesh and their struggle to reconcile the immorality of their desire forces them into society’s margins, destined to deal with the consequences of their true selves for the rest of their lives.

Also on the subject of judgment, Russell said she thinks a lot about her little brother growing up in this world “and the self-judgment and judgment of others and that opinions seem so flooded in your every day in such a drastic and severe way. It’s so scary because the hope is really you can find your own compass within all of it and that seems like a difficult task now.”

The film was made during the pandemic and Chalamet also addressed how that dovetailed with the isolation the characters feel in the movie. “A big part of it was a tribelessness, was being cut off from the social contact that helps us understand where we are in the world… Not that we’re attention hungry narcissistic beings, but nonetheless you need that contact to understand where you are and I felt a similar disillusionment that I think Lee was feeling in the script at that point.”

Taking the role of Lee, Chalamet said, was down to “dying to work with Luca again and tell a story that was grounded but this time in the American midwest in the 80s about people that are existentially disenfranchised.”

MGM has domestic and international distribution rights to Bones And All while Vision Distribution will distribute the film in Italy.


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