Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★★★½

I'll let others go into details about this beautiful film; but suffice it to say that it is simply the best coming of age film I've ever watched. I've admired Timothée Chalamet ever since his understated role on the TV series "Homeland." However, nothing could have prepared me for his scintillating, intelligent portrayal of 17-year old Elio in this film, a performance that ought to make him the youngest best actor Oscar winner in memory, if there is any justice. It would be an error to consider this solely a gay film. Elio is simply a complex teenager in the 1980s, sexually fluid with a totally understanding. liberal Jewish family, spending his summer at his parent's vacation villa in Italy. That he has a puppy dog crush on handsome PhD candidate Oliver, his professor father's summer intern (Armie Hammer), is an inevitable consequence of the situation and Elio's artistic and sensitive personality. James Ivory's script (adapted from a novel by Andre Aciman that I plan to read) goes where just about every similar coming of age film has feared to tread: a realistic and non-prurient sexual liaison between a grown-up man (about 25) and a teenage boy. That it achieves this milestone with realism and true beauty is a tribute to director Luca Guadagnino's talent and bravery. I want to give this film 5-stars; but the film underplayed the romantic angle a bit...a practical necessity; but I felt I needed more emotional involvement. Perhaps a second viewing (which I plan to make when the film is officially released) will eliminate that nagging shortcoming.

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