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Movie Review –
Call Me By Your Name (2017)
Genre: Contemporary, Coming of Age, Drama, Gay
Duration: 132 Minutes
Directed By: Luca Guadagnino
Starring: Timothée Hal Chalamet, Armie Hammer,
Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel
In 1980s Italy, a romance blossoms between a seventeen year-old student and the older man hired as his father’s research assistant.
I watched Call Me By Your Name in preparation for the Oscars (it was also hyped re: Chalamet’s perforamce in particular) and it was okay. Good even.
But man, what an incredibly slow film made worse by its incredibly nothing of a plot. And yet. And yet–the odd thing is that there’s this quiet beauty in being taken to 1980s Italy where much like a summer vacation of unadulterated fun, it can disappear as quick as it arrives. And that’s what this movie’s plot is about; the fleeting moments in life that dissipate just like that.
The fact that there are no extraneous obstacle (aside from themselves) is something that this film captures with glaring intent. It’s easy for these characters to connect and yet the internal battle is still very much there. Call Me By Your Name breathes life into a fantasy that happens without the hesitation of the wider audience, and it’s when we near the end, that everything is put into perspective–that Summer’s don’t last forever; that even flies die–that takes this fleeting and intimate moment, and reminds viewers of the societal limitations put on queer romances regardless of even the compassionate of support systems in place. This is what I think the message is. That despite how fun-and-bittersweet these romps of emotional and sexual attraction these characters experience, there’s a threshold to it–one not of their control. But to experience it just for a moment, there’s something to be said about that.
And by no means is Call Me By Your Name going into my favourites shelf, but I have no regrets to watching it.
- And these black/fruit/house flies…they’re in almost every damn frame.
- It took me forever to actually comprehend the “call me by your name” scene.
- The end of this film is what won me over. The [almost] monologue Elio’s father gives is incredibly touching. Fucking parental feels.
Timothée Hal Chalamet is rather new-to-me but I thought he delivered a wonderful performance. Armie Hammer felt…I don’t know, maybe 15 years too old for this role? I get the apparent age discrepancy but man was it weird seeing this relationship cultivate.
Elio’s father, played by Michael Stuhlbarg, is…ugh, he wins everything for me. A true cinnamon roll of a parent.
That’s all I have to say. Have you read Aciman’s novel or seen the film adaptation? I’d love to hear your thoughts as to the acting and the direction the film takes!