This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jacob’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
"I think he was better than me."
I get it. I don't feel it within myself, but I understand the passionate, emotional reactions to the perceived beauty of this. There's a captivating quality to Call Me by Your Name that I can't tie exclusively to the setting, the cinematography, nor the score. I can easily imagine how so many people have let themselves be consumed by this -- it feels nice, too, like a beautiful vacation. I wish I could let myself be washed over with the feelings of beautiful melancholy so many of you have felt, but I can't.
Elio is so young. It's in the way he dances, how he slides into the room, and how his father calls him "Elly-Belly" while his mother holds his head. Oliver may not even be that many years older, but he's in such a different place. He's experienced, wiser. Still emotional, but not naive. The relationship between these two, a boy and a man, is a sad reflection of something I see too often. I know too many boys like Elio, and I see their heartbreak and my own in him. It's not cathartic for me -- it just makes me sad. I'm sad because I see these boys getting used and thrown away by men who don't care about them, and I'm sad because they think that they were left because they aren't enough. Elio's pain is forced onto us, the camera locked on his eyes as he looks down and cries endlessly. How many more images of miserable gay people do I need to be subject to in the name of entertainment?
This movie still doesn't make me cry. I don't feel that kind of sadness -- I just wish things were better.