“Funny” isn’t the first word that comes to mind when describing a film about eating disorders and the people who suffer from them, but Marti Noxon’s “To the Bone” manages to be both very funny and very moving, often at the same time. Loosely based on her own experiences with anorexia, the lauded writer and showrunner’s feature directorial debut is bound for a Netflix release after the streaming outfit picked up the film after its Sundance premiere earlier this year.
It was a good buy, and Netflix seems to be celebrating that with an equally as good trailer, one that plays on both the film’s humor and heart.
Starring Lily Collins as Ellen, a long-time anorexic who is forced to try a radical new therapy when her illness becomes clearly life-threatening, “To the Bone” charts an experience close to Noxon’s heart. When we spoke to Noxon and her cast — including Collins, Keanu Reeves, and Carrie Preston — at Sundance earlier this year, the filmmaker explained the long road to her (very personal, though not wholly autobiographical) feature directorial debut.
“I think that there’s sort of two parts of that,” Noxon said when asked why the film took so long to be made. “The first part is knowing that you have a story that you could tell, but not knowing how to tell it. That went on for a long time: telling various tales from my experience being anorexic and bulimic, and having people say, ‘You’ve got to write this, you are a writer,’ and me not knowing how to approach the material.”
After overcoming her fears — which included the addition of more humor to the film and an expansion of the story that allowed more fictionalization — Noxon then had to push through Hollywood gatekeepers who didn’t quite understand what she was hoping to make, eventually landing with producers Bonnie Curtis, Karina Miller, and Julie Lynn, who very much did get it. (Collins, who has also been open and honest about her struggles with eating disorders in the past, was another essential factor in the making of the film.)
Noxon’s instincts were right, and Netflix snapped the film up for $8 million after its well-received Sundance premiere, guaranteeing a wide audience for Noxon’s original, heartfelt, and very important new feature.
You can get a taste of it, thanks to its first trailer below (via Entertainment Weekly).
“To the Bone” will premiere on Netflix on July 14.