To The Bone stars Lily Collins as Ellen, a young woman who makes a last attempt to conquer her severe anorexia by entering a group recovery home. Keanu Reeves plays the home’s lead doctor, Carrie Preston plays her stepmother, and Alex Sharp, Alanna Ubach and Retta are among those who help her through the program.
The dramedy, which Netflix acquired after it premiered at Sundance to positive reviews, debuts in limited theaters and on the platform on July 14. THR’s film critic called it “occasionally harrowing but also surprisingly warm and funny.”
Who Inspired the Story?
The film is based on the experiences of Marti Noxon, who created the Bravo series Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce and helped launch the Lifetime drama UnReal. Noxon, who makes her feature directorial debut with the movie, spent much of her teens and early 20s in and out of hospitals. “In writing this, I didn’t want to try to show the particularities of this one ism, but to talk about the underlying issues,” Noxon (second from right, above) tells THR. “Eating disorders for me, like substance abuse [for others], was me wanting to escape a certain pain or level of feeling that I didn’t want to have, and until I faced those feelings, I wasn’t going to get better. I think that’s universal — it’s no different from using drugs or alcohol or any other thing to not feel.”
Collins herself also suffered from anorexia in real life. She received the script while writing about her own experience for her recently-released memoir, and was drawn to its authenticity as well as its surprising sense of humor. “It was so serendipitous,” Collins recalls. “I feel very fortunate to have had the experience when your life’s mission and the mission of a movie so brilliantly get to be intertwined.”
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