Call Me By Your Name is directed by Luca Guadagnino and stars Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer as Elio and Oliver. The film starts on a hot summer day in 1983 when new american assistant Oliver comes to help Elio’s father and from then on a blossoming relationship between Elio and Oliver forms.
The performances by Chalamet and Hammer and their chemistry was electric. Elio is a 17-year old who is staying with his family in Italy for the summer, when Oliver comes along to assist Elio’s father it is then that the movie truly begins. This is one of the best films I’ve seen in recent memory, actually it was more of a realistic experience rather than a movie and that is all because of the man behind the camera: Luca Guadagnino who captures the atmosphere of a summer home in Italy in such a realistic and immersive way.
The relationship these two share is sensual and unique and I love how it doesn’t shy away from that. With the age difference in this movie some people would claim it as pedophilia when in the movie it is handled really well and it shows how age really is just a number, the love between these two is mutual and real and is backed up by some great dialogue. Speaking of dialogue there is this whole bit where Elio’s family pokes fun at the very american saying ‘later’ and it’s these little things which build the realistic aspect. This film was also visually beautiful, the naturally breath-taking locations provided some great shots and it only had a budget of 3.5 million dollars.
This movie has some slow-pacing and in the second act it’s mostly scenes where characters interact but there are certain things that they do that makes the movie feel real and relatable and although scenes like these may bore you when you’ll look back you’ll be remembering it as if you were actually there and if a movie can make you feel that then it’s doing something right and in the case of this movie it hits all the right notes. The themes in my opinion were the blossoming of love, self discovery, a celebration of the human body and an emphasis on growing up. In the movie Oliver tells the younger Elio to grow up and seeing how the character of Elio begins and where he is at the end of the movie it really makes for some great character development. With Elio we go on a ride seeing how this young adult is approaching love and how it makes a stronger person, he is able to find himself through Oliver.
The only flaw and by flaw I mean nitpick is that while I cared for both of them I was more attached to Elio while Oliver just needed a bit more depth although this movie is Elio’s movie and Timothee Chalamet carries the movie with talent and charm. Also Michael Stuhlbarg as Elio’s father provides a portrayal which is kind and rare in these types of movies and it makes for a great scene between him and Elio. I also LOVE how there isn’t any restrictions in this movie, there’s no homophobia or hate, it’s a tale about love and only love and it makes this movie even more beautiful.
I suggest you see it when you have the chance, it is a great movie and I am looking forward to where Chalamet, Hammer and Guadagnino go next. If it’s showing in a theatre go watch it if not I believe it comes out on digital next month. Also ‘Mystery of Love’ by Sufjan Stevens captures the movie perfectly in one song, go check it out if you have the chance.