How goes it? I’m sorry that I missed Monday! My new job has finally started to pick up in terms of workload and I’m still sorting out how to balance it all (any tips?). Anyway, I am definitely a believer in quality over quantity so as much as I hate it, I’ve been debating reducing my 3 posts a week to 2 (with the usual addition of a Soundtrack Saturday every other weekend).
Have you guys ever had to reduce or change your blog schedule? How do you balance work (or school, if you’re a student) and blogging? Let me know in the comments down below, I’d love any advice you have to give <3
So onto today’s post…I FINALLY got around to watching ‘To The Bone’, a netflix original, with my boyfriend last night and afterwards I had this unshakable urge to write about it.
Maybe it’s because it’s a close subject to my heart or maybe it’s just because Lily Collins and Liana Liberato happen to be my favorite actresses (I died of excitement when I saw them both featured in the same movie trailer,) but either way, I was really excited to see the movie when I first saw the emotional trailer.
With that said, let’s get into the review!
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To The Bone follows 20 year-old Ellen, a girl suffering from Anorexia. Haunted by more than one past traumas that are only eluded to in the film – as Keanu Reeves character says brilliantly at one point, that it is usually more complex than just one reason for a person to turn to something like this.
After failing to recover under the watch of several doctors and in-patient programs, Ellen begrudgingly agrees to start a program with Dr.Beckham (Keanu Reeves) who has a brazen attitude and who is unconventional in his treatments. As he says multiple times in the movie, he calls out that several ‘conventional’ methods just don’t work. So Ellen moves into his in-patient home, housing with 6 other girls relatively the same age and a young English dancer named Luke (Alex Sharp).
The movie felt like a bit of a roller coaster sometimes (in the best way of course,) with brilliantly well acted moments.
One of my favorite’s was a scene where Ellen is subjected to family group therapy where her mother, her mother’s girlfriend and her step-mom and sister Kelly (Liana Liberato) all attend and her father is once again not present. I say ‘subjected’ because everyone in her family is revealed to be extremely selfish when it comes to Ellen’s recovery and Beckham does a great job as moderator, listening to just enough of the BS to understand what her home situation is without allowing it to get out of hand. This is an amazing scene where, Kelly, Ellen’s (half or step – I’m not entirely sure,) sister breaks-down and admits she wishes she had a choice or control in the well-being of her sister. “I don’t get it. Just eat.” She says at one point, frustrated, and then goes on to say it breaks her heart that her sister is missing out on not just her own life but hers as well. It’s the only non-selfish thing someone in Ellen’s family has to say and it’s not only well acted but accurately written. Whenever we know someone who is addicted in some way, shape or form, it’s normal to simply go ‘just quit’ without fully understanding how hard that might be.
While I sometimes felt the plot felt a bit rushed sometimes toward the end (In relationships between Ellen and two other characters, or the ending itself,) I loved the beginning and middle. And after a bit of convincing from my boyfriend, I saw the point and eventually came to love the way the ending was done too. If anything, it was just frustrating because I felt myself wanting even more from the character’s story because I had come to really care for Ellen.
I really loved Ellen’s arc in the story. From going to a really jaded girl who only spoke if it was to ridicule or spout sarcasm, to a vulnerable girl in a house that made her face what her illness was really doing to her and what it could do to her future. The story (which was written and acted by people who had almost all faced this illness,) kept it real and raw the entire time. It never gave the viewer a fairy tale or illusion about how hard Ellen’s addiction was to kick. Lily Collins (under medical supervision) lost weight to be able to pass for a sufferer of anorexia and while that may be controversial to some, I personally knew that she was a strong, healthy girl and would only do this if it were the right way and under a nutritionists supervision.
When it comes to Keanu Reeves, It’s usually a bit of a hit or miss for me. But when I saw him in trailer, I was immediately interested in his actor. Personally, I really loved his work here and his attitude of ‘if you don’t want to get better, no one will help you.’ And for the most part, he leaves her on her own to decide what she wants. If there’s anything I learnt from past experience in the family, that’s very true – you can’t force someone into recovery.
Sometimes we thought Luke’s character was built on too many stereotypes of the perfect male in literature (British, dancer, funny, sweet, smart, ie perfect) but at other times, I found him incredibly sweet. Even when his good-nature sometimes came off as kind of pushy, Ellen fought him and did a good job of toning down his pushiness by calling him out on it which I liked. While Luke is a character that is no-doubt a good influence on her, I got really upset at some of the articles I read afterward that claimed the movie celebrated being sick and the male’s superiority in treating females. Let me be clear that neither of the lead male roles went all yellow-wallpaper on Collin’s character. While they may have supported her, at the end of the day, every decision (whether towards further deterioration or recovery) was Ellen’s choice and I loved that because nothing was forced on her.
I believe the movie is set in LA (correct me if I’m wrong!) but I really enjoyed a lot of the setting choices. The in-patient home itself and other patients felt homey and comforting and I loved some of the relationships she began to develop with the other girls despite it really not being the main focus of the movie.
The rain room was a very cool idea (I freaked out when I saw it tbh because I recognized it from a very sweet Martzia + Pewdiepie vlog) which in my opinion was very well shot, all the gorgeous silhouettes, light-hearted dancing and the soundtrack that played made for one of the few but much needed serene parts of the film.
I’d honestly give this movie a 9/10. I was really happy with the cast and so any of the scenes in the film that even scenes I thought were a bit cheesy or otherwise cringey were still great.
This movie was honestly everything I was hoping for and I see it doing a world of good for those who need it personally or need to be educated on the severity of the subject. Anorexia is not about teens overreacting about small things, acting out or even being too vain. It’s a real disease that more people should read up on before they throw labels or say something because they’re misinformed. I’ve heard rumors that people put in complaints for Netflix to pull this movie but as someone who was mislabeled anorexic for years, I cannot even imagine what the stigmas do to people who are actually really suffering from anorexia.
I think To The Bone is a movie that is real and much needed.
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That’s it for my review! Have you seen To The Bone? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below! 😀
Have a good rest of your week everyone!