To the Bone
Eli has been in and out of treatment for her eating disorder. She’s so skeletal and drawn, her eye sockets seem oversized and her skin looks gray. But she insists everything is under control. Like, get over it.
Her family begs her to try yet another inpatient program, and she agrees to join a group home where half a dozen other young bulimics and anorexics (“rexies”) are living in various states of recovery. The house’s lone male resident, Luke (newcomer Alex Sharp) takes an instant liking to her.
Her formal treatment includes a disastrous family therapy session with her new-age mother (Lili Taylor) and well-meaning but often inappropriate stepmother (an outstanding Carrie Preston). Informally, it includes a fledgling romance with Luke and a bizarre bottle-feeding ritual with her mom.
The film presents eating disorders almost like a form of addiction. Keanu Reeves plays Dr Beckham, whose approach is to encourage patients to decide for themselves what their future lives should look like. In one of the film’s most poignant scenes, he reveals one of adulthood’s great and troubling secrets.
“Things don’t all add up,” he says. “But you are resil- ToTheBone.
ient. Face some hard facts and you could have an incredible life.”
And right there is why this film is universal, even if you’re not a young person with an eating disorder. Growing up means realizing that life isn’t always fair and there’s no guarantee that everything will be all right.
Lily Collins plays the lead role in