Luca Guadagnino is a regular at the Venice Film Festival. Friday’s night’s premiere of Guadagnino’s Bones and All marked the Italian director’s fifth bow on the Lido and his third film in competition here — following 2015’s A Bigger Splash and Suspiria in 2018.

And Bones and All star Timothée Chalamet, in addition to wowing the Lido red carpet, is a festival favorite thanks to recent Venice appearances for The King (in 2019) and Dune last year.

So it was no surprise the gala audience packing the Sala Grande Friday night for Bones and All‘s world premiere greeted the duo as old friends and with raucous cheers ahead of the evening screening. Bones and All co-star Taylor Russell, a breakout from 2019’s Waves, also got her share of applause before the screening began, as did Chloë Sevigny and Mark Rylance, both of whom play supporting roles.

It was an open question, however, on how the festival crowd would respond to the movie itself. Bones and All marks a reunion for Chalamet and Guadagnino after their collaboration on Oscar winner Call Me by Your Name, but the new movie is a substantially different proposition.

Based on the Camille DeAngelis YA novel, Bones and All is a coming-of-age romantic horror about alienated teens Maren and Lee (Russell and Chalamet, respectively) who find a connection through their shared love of human flesh. How the movie plays in Venice could go a long way to determining the push MGM gives it for its global rollout later this year.

If Friday night’s reaction is any indication, they shouldn’t have been worried. The Venice crowd came to their feet the moment the credits rolled and stayed up, giving round after round of whoops and cheers, for nearly 10 minutes. 8 minutes in the crowd began cheering “Guada! Guada! Guada!” in celebration of the Italian director. MGM might still have a challenge marketing Bones and All but in Venice at least, it killed.

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