In an era where tv crime is king and reality drives the ratings, it's tricky to compete if you're a small indie drama. And that's even when you have a stellar cast that includes Lily Collins (Emily In Paris), Carrie Preston (The Good Wife), Keanu Reeves and Lili Taylor (Eli). But that's exactly the case with To The Bone.
Tackling the very difficult subject of anorexia nervosa, Ellen is a 20-something college dropout who has battled with her illness for many years. With a very chaotic homelife that includes, divorced parents, a father who is notably absent, a mother who is settled with her female partner, a half-sister and a step-mother who tries hard but can't seem to connect with her, Ellen's anorexia is in danger of killing her.
One last-ditch attempt by her stepmom sees Ellen head off for her fourth in-patient treatment under the guidance of Dr. Beckham, played by Reeves. His no-nonsense approach to therapy takes place at a group home that she shares with six others. This is a place where Ellen must face her demons head on. But will she make it through or is it just too late for her?
To The Bone opens with a note to the viewer. This movie is made by people with a real knowledge of anorexia and all its intricacies. Parts of it are tough to watch and Lily Collins does an excellent job of conveying the juxtaposition of knowing you are on the verge of starving yourself to death but at the same time thinking you are completely fine.
The topic is explored sensitively and without judgment, and each of the supporting cast members brings their own unique perspective on the illness. The point overall is that while there is no one way that somebody becomes anorexic, there also isn't just one way to be cured of it. Overall, To The Bone was a really engaging movie that was more about getting better than getting sick. It was about the light at the end of the tunnel.