Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★★★★

I’ve never had trouble expressing myself. From a young age, writing came easily, talking came easier. As I’ve gotten older, as my awareness of the fleetingness of everything has become sharpened, I’ve become more unrestrained in articulation, to a worrying degree at times. Telling people how I feel about them, telling friends how much I love them, so on and so forth. Yet many of my reviews include lines about my struggle to express how I felt about a movie, and spoiler alert, this one is no different.

I have no idea how to explain how this movie makes me feel. I would like to say that I loved it, but I’m not sure if that’s a slight overstatement or a major understatement. I know that I cried through most of the film and cried myself to sleep last night. I know that I am carrying the weight of it around with me on my shoulders and in my chest, and I know that I will not stop thinking about it for a while.

I know that it was a thing of beauty. The colors of the film, bright clothes and vibrant scenery and streaming sunlight, were enough to immerse the audience in the summertime setting. The shaky shots, blurry focus, intimate closeups cast a thin veil of messiness and imperfection. The physicality, the long pale expanses of limbs and bodies gave it an unrestrained sensuality that didn’t distract, but only added.

I know it was so full of unadulterated desire and love and pain. Desire to be someone, want someone, need someone, and to be desired and wanted and needed in return. A kind of love that is both quiet and screaming and calming and frightening and all-consuming and grounding. Pain over finding and losing someone and finding and losing yourself in the process, the kind of pain that maybe never finds its way out of you.

And I know that for whatever reason, this beautiful film, complete with powerhouse performances and breathtaking visuals and so much feeling, struck something deep inside me that I cannot seem to figure out nor recover from. But maybe you don’t always have all the answers all the time and maybe it’s okay to sit and cry in front of a fireplace and surrender yourself to it and just be. Maybe that’s what art and love and life is about. And maybe that’s okay.

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