"Ellen: People say they love you. But what they mean is they love how loving you makes them feel about themselves or what they can take away from you. (...)
Ellen: I just don't see the point.
Dr. William Beckham: In what?
Dr. William Beckham: There is no point. Or, at least, big picture, we don't get to know what it is. Why we live... , why Megan lost the baby... , why that girl killed herself...
Ellen: You're not reassuring me doctor.
Dr. William Beckham: I can't reassure you. This idea you have, that there's a way to be safe, it's childish and cowardly. It stops you from experiencing anything, including anything good.
Ellen: You don't think I feel bad enough already? I know I'm messed up, but you're supposed to teach me how not to be.
Dr. William Beckham: You know how. Stop waiting for life to be easy. Stop hoping for somebody to save you. You don't need another person lying to you. Things don't all add up, but you are resilient. Face some hard facts and you could have an incredible life.
Ellen: That's your pearl of wisdom? Grow a pair?
Dr. William Beckham: That's a more concise way of putting it. Yeah.
Ellen: Unbelievable. Fuck you!"
(quotes from the movie)
“To the Bone” is a 2017 American drama film, written and directed by Marti Noxon. The film stars Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Preston, Lili Taylor, Alex Sharp, Liana Liberato, Brooke Smith, and Ciara Bravo. The film follows a young woman (Ellen) as she battles anorexia. The film premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2017, as a contender in the U.S. Dramatic Competiton. It was released worldwide on Netflix on July 14, 2017.
Ellen is a 20 year old college dropout who returns home to the house of her stepmother and father after struggling through an inpatient program and failing to make any progress. With her absentee father unwilling to deal with her, Ellen's stepmother, Susan, sets her up with a specialist, Dr. William Beckham, who insists that Ellen join his inpatient program. Ellen is reluctant to do so, but her mind is changed by her younger sister.
Ellen moves into the house with six other patients that include five young women and Luke, an upbeat ballet dancer, who is near recovery on both his anorexia and a knee injury. Luke acts as a moral cheerleader for the other patients and takes a special interest in Ellen, eventually revealing that he is a fan of Ellen's art.
At a family therapy session with Beckham, Ellen's father fails to show up. It is revealed that until eighteen months earlier, Ellen was living with her mother, who abandoned her to move to Phoenix, Arizona, and also that the artwork she posted on Tumblr was cited as an influence by a girl who later killed herself. Ellen promises to try to do better, but instead continues to lose weight.
Ellen makes headway, changing her name to Eli and bonding with the other members of the house. She is surprised, however, when Luke kisses her and admits he is starting to fall in love with her. She panics and quickly rejects him. Later on, she learns that Megan, another woman in the house who was pregnant, miscarried her baby, having resumed her purging after reaching the twelve week mark and believing it was safe. The event sends Eli into a tailspin, and she decides to run away. On her way out, Luke begs her to stay, telling her that he needs her as he realizes that his knee condition is permanent and he will never be able to properly dance again and needs something new to focus on. Eli leaves anyway.
Near death, Eli goes to her mother's home. That night, her mother expresses guilt for the postpartum depression she had after giving birth to Ellen and suggests that she might try feeding Eli with a bottle while rocking her to help solve both their issues. Eli finds the idea strange, but after her mother tells her that she accepts if she chooses death, she decides to go along with the idea and allows herself to be rocked while her mother feeds her rice milk from a bottle.
After eating, Eli goes for a walk at night. Passing out, she hallucinates that she is in a tree where she kisses Luke, who reveals to her how sick she is. He gives her a piece of coal that is her courage, and she swallows it.
Waking up from her dream, Eli decides to return home. She embraces her stepmother and her sister before continuing on to Beckham's inpatient program.
Directed by: Marti Noxon
Produced by: Bonnie Curtis, Karina Miller, Julie Lynn
Written by: Marti Noxon
Starring: Lily Collins, Carrie Preston. Lili Taylor, Keanu Reeves
Music by: Fil Eisler
Cinematography: Richard Wong
Edited by: Elliot Greenberg
Production company: AMBI Group, Sparkhouse Media, Foxtail Entertainment, Mockingbird Pictures, To the Bone Productions
Distributed by: Netflix
Release date: January 22, 2017 (Sundance), July 14, 2017 (Netflix)
Running time: 107 minutes
Country: United States