Photo Courtesy of Netflix
To The Bone is a Netflix Original that you cannot miss. The film carries a 70% rating from Rotten Tomatoes and in my opinion it should have received higher.
The film follows Ellen (Lily Collins), an unruly 20-year-old battling anorexia and has spent the better part of her teenage years in various recovery programs for her disorder, only to be unsuccessful and lighter on the scale.
Anorexia is characterized by weight loss or the condition of being unable to gain weight appropriately. Those suffering from this disorder often have body dysphoria in which they see themselves as larger than they really are.
Anorexia is a very serious mental illness with life-threatening outcomes and has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder (half to the disorder itself and the other to suicide).
I would not recommend this film to anyone that is easily triggered. Though this film is amazing and powerful it is very graphic and could be triggering to those struggling to recover from their own battles.
Ellen’s family was determined to find a way to cure her, so they sent her to a group home for youths led by a non-traditional doctor.
Before the film begins there is a disclaimer stating that the film was created with and by individuals that have battled an eating disorder and shows realistic depictions. Doing research on the production of the film I learned that Collins battled with this disorder herself, and overcame it. She even went to the extreme of losing a lot of weight to fit the role of Ellen.
The film does a great job introducing and explaining that eating disorders can look different. They touched on binging, bulimia, as well as purging. I think in doing that, she created a universal way of looking at the situation rather than just focusing on anorexia itself.
Character development between the other kids in the home was very strong. There was an unconventional love story between Ellen and Luke (Alex Sharp) and it was very raw and believable.
The film addressed the ‘just eat’ phenomenon from people that have never experienced the disorder. It did more show rather than tell and the film executed that very well. By the end of the film you understood the severity of the disorder and why we should be talking about it, which was the main goal of the production.
Personally, I loved the goal of this film. I think it is very important to open the conversation with eating disorders. It’s so important to know that there are people that are struggling with these disorders and they are just as important to talk about as anxiety or depression. Eating disorders are scary things and we need to be aware of them and be understanding of our peers that could be struggling.
I would recommend this film to anyone that maybe does not understand anorexia or why people have it. It is a very touching story of heartache, misery, failures, small victories, as well as recovery.