Movie Review: Netflix’s To The Bone is another corny portrayal of anorexia

Anorexia is one of those subjects that seem tailor-made for a medium as darkly fascinated by bodies and self-destructive obsessions as film, and yet it always comes across as phony, simply because actors can never really look anorexic; thin and baggy-eyed is a long way from the sight of skin sucked so tightly over bones that it appears that a person’s body might crumple in on itself at any moment. That doesn’t mean that movies can’t tackle the psychology, but with only a few exceptions (e.g., the English writer-director Mike Leigh’s 1990 film Life Is Sweet, which depicts a young, working-class bulimic woman), films about eating disorders take the form of hokey, know-the-symptoms public service pamphlets aimed at teens. There’s a reason why the topic is popularly associated with cheesy TV movies. The Netflix-produced To The Bone, which was written and directed by TV …

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