Call Me by Your Name (2017)

call me by your name poster 2017 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking, great acting

Story is intentionally nuance based and built largely unspoken emotions which sometimes is a bit confusing

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Call Me by Your Name

Studio:   Frenesy Film Company

Genre(s):   Drama/Romance

Release Date(s):   January 22, 2017 (Sundance Film Festival)/November 24, 2017 (US)

MPAA Rating:   R

call me by your name secret spot elio oliver armie hammer timothee chalamet

So what are you trying to say?

In 1983, Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and his mother (Amira Casar) and father (Michael Stuhlbarg) are spending the summer in northern Italy where Elio spends his days swimming, relaxing, and chasing the local girls while his father continues with his research. When his father invites American grad student Oliver (Armie Hammer) into the home as a research aide, Elio finds himself put out by the brash, boorish student, but soon finds himself infatuated with him. As Oliver and Elio test the boundaries of their relationship, a new world opens for Elio that he’s never seen.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name is a romance coming-of-age drama. The film adapts the 2007 novel by André Aciman and was met with praise but also some controversy due to the age of the Elio character. The film received Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay with nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Chalamet), and Best Original Song (“Mystery of Love”).

It is odd to look at movies focusing on LGBT characters because it is strange see how far and how fast things have evolved. Brokeback Mountain caused stirs and outrage among conservative and religious groups because of its very open portrayal of a relationship between two men. Call Me by Your Name has a similar feel but feels more intimate and about the relationship more so than the taboo (though there is a great deal about the taboo).

call me by your name elio oliver statue armie hammer timothee chalamet

Wait…what are you saying with this shake?

The taboo of an older man “seducing” a younger man is a theme in the movie, and though it wouldn’t have been accepted socially in the United States in 1983, it feels like it is less taboo in Italy especially considering the rather bohemian lifestyle that Elio’s family lives (and they know their son is different). With this somewhat aside, the movie focuses on first love and deep love. It starts out about lust but it evolves into an emotional tie where the idea of their relationship is the thrust and what it means to each of them. While it is “accepted” for the most part, it probably cannot survive due to their differences in location and society. It is obvious that Elio is different, on the cusp of manhood, and at least bisexual, and at the verge of eighteen, he’s going to be making his own decisions anyway.

Casting is tricky in this movie in that there is such a physical difference between Hammer and Chalamet. While Chalamet is in his twenties, he is small and thin especially when compared to Hammer (who looks a lot older than twenty-four…he’s in his thirties). Chalamet does eat up the scenes with his impulsive character that is going through so many emotions and changes in a relatively short time (he also learned piano and Italian for the role). Hammer is played as a non-seducer and though he easily sees through Chalamet’s straight act. He is fighting his urges through most of the movie and the challenge of his character is “forget” what it was like for someone like Chalamet to experience his first time. While Hammer and Chalamet get most of the credit, I like Ester Garrel as Marzia who bears the brunt of Chalamet’s behavior as his on-and-off again girlfriend and also feel that Michael Stuhlbarg should have received more recognition as the father who understands what Chalamet is going through.

call me by your name father speech michael stuhlbarg timothee chalamet

Wait…what are you saying, Dad?

The movie is set in the beautiful northern Italy and shows the variety of the landscape. You have lush orchards wrapped in sun and dusty roads for biking. The movie also sometimes presents the cold and wet days of the region which can sometimes look like even middle America at times.

Call Me by Your Name is a great feat. It wasn’t my favorite movie of the year, but I have a lot of respect for it. It has to present a plausible romance that captures the audience in the nature of love regardless of who the subjects are, and it does it largely through the unspoken. It is a nice coming of age story that shows the struggle though sometimes what isn’t said in the movie can make it a bit hard to follow as the days drift one day into the other in the film. There has already been talk of a sequel to find out where Chalamet and Hammer’s characters go from there…I would welcome it.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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