To the Bone is a Netflix Original movie, starring Lily Collins and Keanu Reeves. It premiered on July 14. The movie is about a twenty year old girl, Ellen, who is suffering from anorexia. She (is encouraged to) seek help, and meets an unconventional doctor who challenges her to face her condition and embrace life.
I had a great interest in this movie from the moment I heard about it and couldn’t wait to finally see it. I also was a bit skeptical, though.
The skeptical part came from the fact that I had my doubts about how the movie was going to portray the disease to the world, if it would be accurate enough, if it would show the little things that make this disease unbearable.
The fact that Lily Collins suffered from an eating disorder herself (all the respect in the world to her for making a movie about this), gave me faith that this maybe wasn’t going to be one of those ‘big missers’.
Now on to the movie itself. Did I like it? Yes, definitely.
First of all, I want to say that I struggled from anorexia myself, and this was also a reason why I was cautious about the movie. To the Bone had moments where it wasn’t easy to watch for me, at all. I recognized things I did to myself, and to the people close to me. I saw things I used to do, some things I still do. It provoked all kind of emotions.
I could not take my eyes of this movie, even though, like I said before, there are moments when it was very hard to watch. Eating disorders have been shown in many TV movies before, but this is probably one of the best screen treatments of the subject.
I’ve read some reviews in which they say this movie is an exaggeration of someone with an eating disorder, but I don’t think so at all. After the first ten minutes of this movie, I was sure this wasn’t a movie that was glamorizing eating disorders, but this was pretty close to the real thing.
I don’t think they could’ve found a better Ellen than Lily Collins. The attention to detail that was put into this character is amazing. And Lily Collins puts it off better than I could have hoped. From counting calories to the sit-ups in her room to doing the thingy with her arm, it’s about as accurate as it can be. You can see she really put her heart and soul into this role. I also loved the supporting cast!
The story has a good balance of humor and drama with well-written dialogue. The romantic side-plot wasn’t necessary in my opinion, but I understand why they did it. I didn’t really like it, and think they could have made the movie better without it. But it’s one of the only slightly light-hearted things in this movie, and therefore I understand the choice of the filmmakers.
There’s already a lot of fuss about this movie on the internet; people are afraid it will trigger young girls into doing this to themselves or that it will trigger people with an eating disorder, and so on and on. I only know that everyone experiences an eating disorder differently, which also means that everyone has their own personal triggers.
It’s also a choice to watch this movie, no one is forced to see it (for as far as I know).
I think it is important for people who don’t know a lot about this subject to see this movie. Especially for people who think it’s just a mental thing (or even a ‘life choice’) and people who suffer from it ‘just have to eat’.
Overall, I loved this. It is not a movie I will re-watch any time soon. It was confronting, hard-hitting and as close to the real thing as I’ve seen in a long time. This is worth watching.