Title: Call Me By Your Name
Director: Luca Guadagnino
Genre: Drama, Romance
Writers: James Ivory (screenplay), based on the novel Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
Release Day: 19 January 2018
Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg
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“Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.”
Oh my world, what a movie! I saw Call Me By Your Name more than a month ago and just now I felt like I could write a proper review, almost a week after the Oscars and what I think was a night that snubbed this movie but I’ll get to that later. (Or not, I’ll get it out of the way now, Timothée Chalamet deserved to win Lead Actor and for me this was the movie of the year. #sorrynotsorry)
The movie apart from being utterly beautiful shot by shot, is an ode to slow burn unrequited romance that blooms between Elio and Oliver. It is based on the novel by Andre Aciman which I haven’t read because I’m still hangover from the movie but I hope to read it before a sequel comes out.
[For any Americans reading this let me go ahead and address your concern, yes this movie is about a 17-year-old having a relationship with a 24-year-old and yes in Italy, where the movie takes place, the age of consent is and was at the time 14. Personally consent was not even a blip in my mind while watching this but I have seen people comment on it so there.]
The movie starts with Oliver arriving in Italy where he will be staying for the summer as yet another research assistant of Elio’s father. The story takes its time, so much so that it made me feel like I was watching them for hours, in the best possible way. Elio spends his summer lounging around, reading books, playing the piano, swimming and eating fruits. The infamous peach scene you might have heard of will probably make peaches associated with CMBYN for a while and I’m totally fine with it. Totally fine.
The stunning backdrop of Italy’s countryside in the summer, Elio and Oliver going swimming and riding their bicycles around town, the hauntingly beautiful OST by Sufjan Stevens that you should definitely check out, makes Call Me By Your Name a favorite and a cinematic gem as far as I’m concerned. This movie deserves so much love. SO. MUCH. LOVE. I can’t even talk about it without getting emotional.
Oliver: Is there anything you don’t know?
Elio: I know nothing, Oliver.
Oliver: Well, you seem to know more than anyone else around here.
Elio: Well, if you only knew how little I really know about the things that matter.
Oliver: What “things that matter?”
Elio: You know what things.
Oliver: Why are you telling me this?
Elio: Because I thought you should know.
Oliver: Because you thought I should know?
Elio: Because I wanted you to know.
Elio: [to himself] Because I wanted you to know. Because I wanted you to know. Because I wanted you to know.
Elio: [to Oliver] Because there’s no one else I can say this to but you.
Oliver: Are you saying what I think you’re saying?
Oliver: Wait for me here. Don’t go away.
Elio: You know I’m not going anywhere.
Elio is such a captivating character, Timothée Chalamet’s performance and the myriad of emotions displayed on his face in every scene pulled me into the story and it was by far the best performance of the year for me. Every quote, the cinematography, the performances and the music makes every scene valuable, there’s not a moment of this I would throw away, not a single moment.
Then let me say one more thing. It’ll clear the air. I may have come close, but I never had what you two have. Something always held me back or stood in the way. How you live your life is your business, just remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. And before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now, there’s sorrow, pain. Don’t kill it and with it the joy you’ve felt.
Elio’s dad delivers one of the best moments of the movie. I don’t want to spoil more than I already have but holy feels this movie is a heartbreaking tale of love and heartache, coming of age and finding love only to lose it shortly after. An explosion of feels.
I’ll wrap this up with this gif of Elio looking directly at the camera and making the audience, or just me, sob till there’s no more tears. NO. MORE. TEARS.