Ian’s review published on Letterboxd:
"Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot."
One of the most artistic and beautifully crafted first love stories that I've ever seen, Luca Guadagnino's absolute masterpiece of a film, Call Me by Your Name wasn't really that interesting to me until I I saw the first trailer months after it was released. The first time I saw that trailer it felt so real and the tone that it set off had me eager to watch it, and after doing so, I'm so glad that I fell in love with it.
I was somewhat skeptical to the film - not because of the subject matter - as it seemed like such an "Oscar bait" film; and I absolutely hate those types of films that try too hard to win Oscars. Honestly though, the film was a complete surprise and a wonderfully enjoyable and heartbreakingly beautiful portrayal of love and life in 80's Italy. That's one thing I admire most about it - it's beautiful scenery and it's mesmerizing landscapes and shots.
I haven't had the pleasure of checking out any of Luca Guadagnino's previous works, but if any of them come close to how this film is, he'll become one of my favorite directors. Guadagnino films with such an authentic tone and he really allows the film to blossom by itself. Call Me by Your Name moves as at a slower pace, but it really allows you to feel for these characters and become invested in their love and the relationships - not just the one between Oliver & Elio. I think it's truly a magnificent achievement.
There are certain young actors who - right from the start - are just born with natural talent. From the start of their career the work wonderfully and Timothée Chalamet is perhaps the best example. He fills Elio with so much passion, love, and heart, I truly feel connected with him all the time. Armie Harmer is so so amazing as Oliver. He works with Chalamet to perfection and honestly the work off each other flawlessly. I also have to give a shoutout to Michael Stuhlarg, his talk at the end with Elio really hit me in the heart and was simply sublime.
If I would've known how much of an impression Luca Guadagnino's latest masterpiece would leave on me, I definitely would've tried to see it in the theaters. But watching it at home, in the dark, and all to myself I actually think I got a better connection. Call Me by Your Name is a beautiful, mesmerizing, and elegantly marvelous work of art, and one of the very best of the year.
Included in: Great Movies