charliedalton’s review published on Letterboxd:
I don't normally write reviews, I usually just put my rating in for my personal record, but I feel inclined to say something because everyone else is pissing themselves over this movie: I HATED this movie. I think this is one of the worst films I've seen in awhile. I wanted to badly to like it. I wanted to enjoy it. It looks so pretty in the trailer! Sufjan! It's gay!
Then I saw it. Dreadful pacing, terrible writing, the editing is ATROCIOUS, shit direction, etc etc. I WILL say I think the music is lovely, especially Visions of Gideon, the performances are very good (Timothee is EXCEPTIONALLY good), and it DOES have some scenes I thought were great (that ending shot.......wrow....)
But overall? I felt NOTHING. I felt no emotional connection to the characters or the film whatsoever, and I'm the most hyperempathetic person on earth. I didn't care for or believe the romance whatsoever, and I'm a gay whose favorite genre is romance. I felt NOTHING watching this movie. The ONLY connection I felt, which was definitely NOT intentional if the interviews by the cast and crew are anything to go by, was to Elio and the trauma that boy is going to feel years later due to the abuse he goes through in this movie. Because yeah, i'm really sorry if you all have stars in your eyes over this oh-so-tragic love story, but yeah it's abusive and toxic and unhealthy with completely out of whack power dynamics and it's disgusting that it is being romanticized and not remotely addressed in the film. even the PARENTS are totally cool with it which BLOWS MY MIND and HORRIFIES ME. This movie made me reflect on both community and personal traumas so much and to such a deep level I didn't anticipate. It has honestly messed me up pretty badly.
But even without the terrible TERRIBLE relationship dynamic, this movie is uneven, poorly edited and written, and overall an uninteresting waste of my time. A few good scenes and shots and some good acting does NOOOOOTTTTTTTT make this worthy of a best picture nomination or the praise it has been getting,imo.