MJ’s review published on Letterboxd:
If you only knew how little I know about the things that matter.
You know, we all have these movies that are like, they’re our favorite movies for different occasions or moods? We have our rainy day movies, we have movies we watch when we’re sick in bed, we have movies we fall asleep to because they ease us. And there are movies that we deem instant classics, masterpieces, or flawless films that’ll inspire many pieces of art to come. This movie manages to be all of those things. This is a movie I’m going to watch when I’m sad, happy, lonely, in or out of love, tired, wide awake, you name it.
My favorite thing about this story is that there’s not an inkling of shame within it. There are no hardships or obstacles to overcome, this isn’t about forbidden love. This is a story that accepts and embraces love. Another thing I love is the support Elio (and Oliver) receive. It’s made abundantly clear that Elio’s parents are aware of the relationship between Elio and Oliver, and they encourage it. What I find more interesting though is that there’s subtext there that Marzia is aware of it too, and she still accepts Elio as well, there’s no heartbreak on her end. The movie doesn’t invalidate or question bisexuality, it accepts it and treats it as a norm. I wish this film could’ve been given to me earlier in life, this is something that I needed, but nevertheless, I’m still grateful it’s here now.
Everything about this movie just works. You linger on literally every single word every character says. You linger on every glance or stare Oliver and Elio share with each other, even when it goes “unnoticed” by the other. You linger when the camera lingers, when it captures moments that are so intimate they almost feels intrusive. Watching this romance between Elio and Oliver unfold so closely, so intimately, is like watching something we’re not meant to see and are being granted access to. This is especially true for the last shot. That moment... we just linger, and linger, and linger. Until your heart crumbles to dust. Every moment in this film feels so real because there’s time given for reality to set in.
I love this film, this story, everything about it. I felt sick once the screen faded to black and I stood up. Certainly not in a bad way, but this was just so moving and emotionally overwhelming. I’m so, so grateful for this, for everything it means to me and means to others. A piece of art, a story that yells to your face that it’s okay to be you, to love, to give yourself to somebody else, to be open and honest, to not be ashamed of anything, and to embrace every emotion you can.