Friday, November 24, 2017

Film Review: Call Me By Your Name (A)

With the world in so much turmoil as of late, it takes a simple love story to give us a little hope about the world and humanity. Luca Guadagnino's adaptation of Andre Aciman's 2007 novel, Call Me By Your Name is that movie that we all need right now. Set in the early 80s in Northern Italy, a precocious gorgeous 17 year old American-Italian boy, Elio, played by Timothee Chalamet, is living with his family in a large villa when they welcome a guest archaeologist scholar into their home for six weeks. The scholar, named Oliver, played by Armie Hammer, is a very handsome, laid back American whom immediately stirs something deeply within Elio. Oliver takes note of this and begins to leave hints to young Elio of his interest, or is it an annoyance? The bohemian upper class lifestyle of Elio's family permits him to have a free spirit attitude towards life. And his interactions with his parents reveals that they respect his individuality, and encourage his creativity and self-expression, as well as exploring his sexuality. When Oliver invites Elio for a bike ride into town, it is a test for both of them to explore exactly what is happening between them, and they become honest with each other because their attraction to one another is palpable. The brewing sexual desire between Elio and Oliver is beautifully consummated one evening and they opened a door that will eventually have to be closed.

Call Me By Your Name is a beautiful love story that you will never want to end. There are moments that make you so nervous about which direction Elio and Oliver's journey will take you. But when Elio's father, played by Michael Stuhlburg, explains to Elio about how lucky he was to have the experience to love Oliver, and be with someone who makes you love yourself and life, and how much his father supports what he experienced, it is a heart warming moment that makes you wish all parents of gay children were as compassionate and loving of their child.

Being in Los Angeles has afforded me the opportunity to attend special screenings of films, and as a subscriber to the LA Times, I was lucky to attend the screening of this film, and the Q&A afterwards with the director and actors. Below are three short videos I recorded from the Q&A which reveal insights into the filming process, Armie's dance sequence, and Timothee talks about the fruit moment. I can't wait to see this movie again, and after it has received six Spirit Award nominations, I believe it will make it all the way to the Oscars with hopeful nominations for Armie and Timothee. Call Me By Your Name will seduce you into viewing it at least twice in the theater as I already purchased by ticket to see it again on Saturday afternoon at Arclight Hollywood.

Grade: A

Armie Hammer (Oliver) and Timothee Chalamet (Elio)

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