To the Bone (2017) Review


Ellen is a 20 year old woman who is trying to survive with anorexia nervosa, so many family issues surrounding her start in life and battling her own fears. She has been in many different rehab centres but everything with change when she meets Dr. Beckham and is accepted to the group home he runs.


To the Bone is a very haunting film from start to finish to tough to watch. It comes with a warning before it starts that it is all based on real peoples experiences and lives. That certainly makes it all more hard hitting.

The film follows Ellen who does not really offer much hope about managing to survive she does not seem to want to actually live and that makes it very tough to watch. She dropped out of college and could not cope with that part of her life. We slowly find out things about her and try to piece together some kind of explanation about how she has ended up with an eating disorder. Her father has given up with her and never turns up any more, her mother is now a lesbian and in a relationship with another woman. The only woman who actually seems to care is her stepmother but that takes a long time for her to realise this, she seems to get on well with her stepsister who doesn’t want her to die.

Managing to get a meeting with Dr. Beckham and accepted into the home with a few other struggling young people all with different backgrounds and reasons for their disorder. All needing someone to really help them. The methods are different and allow them to move at their own pace. Interesting to see that forcing them to eat is not an option, although they will be placed on as drip if they don’t try things and maintain a certain weight.

I always feel something like this you cannot relate to at all because I cannot imagine eating or then purging afterwards. What it can do though is to raise understanding and hope that you could then spot signs if this starts to happen with someone you are close with.

Seeing Ellen do different things like constant sit ups giving her too much pressure on her spine due to her lack of weight and even muscles. Something that was pointed out by the doctor. Checking where she can fit her hand around on her arms and generally hating the way she looked. An aspiring artist who had a very bad experience on Tumblr which certainly messed her up even more with her young life and lack of love and understanding.

Lily Collins was good in the leading role and captured so many emotions thought out the film that certainly made it strong. Making you feel sorry for her and pity that she did not have more support when she was younger and parents who really cared. Alex Sharp was very impressive in the supporting role and gave a totally different edge to the film. Seeing Keanu Reeves was also something I really enjoyed his doctor character was very strong and helped to show that they really do want to help people out.

A tough subject matter dealt with in a very respectful manner touching on the different forms of eating disorders and how they can happen to anyone. Offering better understanding and how you can show support if you know someone who is suffering or who has come through it but will always have it as an issue throughout life.

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