Netflix’s latest movie, To The Bone, has a star studded cast which includes Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, and Liana Liberato, but the cast isn’t the best part of this movie, it’s the premise.
The movie revolves around a young woman battling with anorexia — one of many eating disorders that affects over 30 million Americans a year — and her relationships with the people around her: the awkwardness between her and her stepmother, the distance between her and her sister, her rebelliousness towards her doctor, and her camaraderie with other young adults struggling with the same issues.
From what we can see of the film from its trailer, it seems to be rooted in reality. There’s no glamorizing of the ED, which happens often in the media — just look at Cassie from Skins, Blair from Gossip Girl, or a variety of characters from Degrassi. For once a film will be showing the harsh realities of an ED — It isn’t about looking like a model or forcing yourself to fit into last summer’s skinny jeans, an eating disorder can take over your entire life and potentially end it.
Lily Collin’s character isn’t portrayed as a gorgeous waif who looks good in anything, instead her eyes are sunken, her bones jut out in uncomfortable angles, and she lacks the energy food would give her. A realistic portrayal of what would actually happen to someone with a severe eating disorder.
The trailer shows the very real progression of certain ED’s — yes, there are varieties — with the main character obsessively counting her calories, something a lot of people can identify with (including myself). Her meals get smaller and smaller, shifting from an unfinished plate of veggies and potatoes, to nothing but a protein bar and eventually just water. As the trailer montages its way through these dishes there’s a constant narration, “I’ve got it under control”, but when the character faints you can tell that she does not.
We can assume things get better for her character as the trailer shows her progression from a cynical woman with a death wish to someone with a bit more hope, but we won’t know for sure until we watch it ourselves. The film had its premiere back in January at the Sundance Film Festival, but it’ll be widely available for the general public on July 14 on Netflix.
Will you be watching it?