With Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Lili Taylor, Brooke Smith and many others.
This film, which is said to be the first one about anorexia nervosa, doesn’t bore one bit. We follow Ellen -beautifully portraited by Lily Collins- who has just walked away from the last clinic she was admitted to for gaining purposes. Ellen actually only finds joy in making others feel uneasy so she doesn’t have to.
You don’t get to see much of the inside struggles she faces though. It’s Dr William Beckham -played by Keanu Reeves, a bit of a weird pick that, to be fair. He doesn’t depict the doctor badly, it’s just not a part I was expecting him to play- who voices most of the struggles she goes through. Dr William Becker and Alex Sharp, one of the first residents in the house/clinic Ellen meets.
Though this film sort of gives an insight into the lives of people with an eating disorder, it seems to show less of their minute to minute struggles. It’s still rather shallow. You see how Ellen’s family is in many ways highly disfunctional, but not how this works for the others. And somehow, that context, especially with such a heavy depiction of the shown illnesses (eating disorders) seems quite important.
To The Bone did remind me -at times- of Girl, Interrupted. Probably because it’s mostly girls in the prime of their life, facing problems they don’t know how to deal with. The atmosphere in To The Bone seems incredibly loose. No very strict rules, just some restrictions, really, and a system that contains earning points with ‘good behaviour’.
Ellen first appears as an incredibly moody teenager, only trusting her sister enough to act normal (pleasant) around, but in the end turns out a very sensitive and adjusting person, who just needed to be shown some basic love. The scene of her mother feeding her is so powerful, you’re honestly not sure if it will break or bond the two.