Indie Gems: To The Bone
Ellen (Lily Collins) is a young artist struggling with anorexia. Not only is she killing herself, she's killing her relationship with her family. A last ditch effort by her step mother, Susan. (Carrie Preston) sends her to live in a group home run by Dr. Beckham (Keanu Reeves)
This film got a lot of flak for the way it portrays eating disorders when it first came out. Like any time a mental illness is shown in film, there's the realism vs exploitation debate. I actually appreciated the care they took in showing all of this. Eating disorders on screen for me are shitty Lifetime movies where the bulimic girl for some reason hides jars of vomit in her closet. (because that's logical) No such foolishness goes on in To The Bone. The few "tricks" they show the girls doing to avoid food are not out there and they do not for one second shy away from how devastating these illnesses are.
Collins is really proving herself to be a capable actress. I liked her a lot here. This material was clearly close to her heart. The entire cast work really well together and there are some gorgeous shots in this movie. I can buy Reeves as the cool doctor. And this film does something that I always appreciate in film, and that's portraying the step parents as helpful. That gets overlooked so much.
Watched on: Netflix Instant
Memorable Quote: "People say they love you. But what they mean is they love how loving you makes them feel about themselves." - Ellen (Lily Collins)