Review: Netflix’s ‘To the Bone’ Worth it Despite Cheese Factor

By now you’ve probably heard a lot of debate over Netflix’s new movie To the Bone starring Lily Collins.

While some argue the movie romanticizes anorexia, others felt the film was true to life. Collins, who plays the lead Ellen, previously opened up about her own struggles with anorexia and how the film helped her to deal with some of the emotional aspects of the disorder.

So, should you give To the Bone a try? Here we break down the film and whether or not it’s worth 2+ hours of your life.

[Note: Minor spoilers ahead]

The Good: Lily Collins and the Process of Healing

First, we have to give credit where credit is due: Lily Collins was perfection. She was exactly what the film called for and felt very true to her character. We’ve seen Collins in smaller roles prior to this, like her recent small part of Red in Okja (Netflix), but this is clearly her best role to date. She was completely vulnerable and believable and we couldn’t ask for anything more from her.

The other major standout of the film was the portrayal of healing. To the Bone made a point of showing that recovery is not always linear. Ellen has victories and setbacks, but all of it is just a part of the process. While so many films make it seem like a straight-shot to health, we all know that’s just not true. Kudos to the film for making that abundantly clear.

The Bad: The Cheese Factor

We’re not going to lie: there was a tad too much cheesiness. Particularly, there’s a scene in which the doctor takes all the inpatients to an art installation where they can dance in the rain, merely to show them “they are alive.” Barf!

But to be fair, it wasn’t nearly as cheesy as it could have been. So at least they showed some restraint.

The Hard to Watch: Looking at Lily Collins

Under the supervision of doctors and nutritionists, Lily lost a ton of weight in order to portray the deathly anorexic Ellen, and boy did she succeed. Looking at Lily is quite painful. She’s barely a shell of a person and the close-ups of her spine certainly do not help. There’s a scene in which you see her naked body laying the dessert and she literally looks like a carcass. If they were going for shock factor, they got it. To be clear, we’re not criticizing their decision to go as far as they did, just pointing out the fact that Collins’ body in the film is quite horrific.

Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.