To The Bone

A recent made-for-Netflix movie that takes on the subject of anorexia nervosa, written and directed by Marti Nixon, and apparently based on her own struggles with the eating disorder. Far be it from me to comment on the realism of the material here, or how it might be viewed by those with eating disorders, but it has been criticised by others for simplifying the causes of anorexia, and a leading UK charity – Beat – has even urged sufferers to exercise caution before deciding whether or not to watch it. Anyway, Lily Collins stars as Ellen, a 20-year-old woman who is convinced by a leading private doctor (Keanu!) to join his inpatient programme, which involves staying in a kind of convalescent home for an indeterminate amount of time. Several other patients are resident in the house at the same time, including a young and immensely irritating English fop named Luke (Alex Sharp), who becomes Ellen’s love interest. I’m afraid my main problem with this film is this English character, who made me either cringe or recoil in horror every time he appeared on screen; I wonder whether he’s based on a real person, and can only hope – for Marti Nixon’s sake – that he isn’t. Leaving Luke aside, clearly an attempt has been made to make a ‘no holds barred’ film – a ‘graphic content’ warning for viewers pops up at the beginning – but I suspect it may have been softened at some point by Netflix, as I didn’t spot anything particularly harrowing. A disappointment, though certainly not awful. (**)