This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
kc’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster, that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty.”
Call Me By Your Name is a masterpiece; the cinematography is beautiful. The acting, not only by Timothee and Armie, but by the entire cast is absolutely fantastic.
The language, the imagery, the writing - all so breathtakingly attractive in so many different ways. I loved with Elio, I cried with him. The scene of him crying in the car or in front of the fireplace filled me with unimaginable sorrow. He loved Oliver with his everything, and Oliver allowed their love to fade into the background. With the distance in their hearts, Oliver went back to living his heteronormative life leaving Elio choking on his dust.
Maybe it's the prospect of lost love, or maybe it's the relatable personality Elio has, but it tears you apart. You know he's struggling. Though his family supports him unflinchingly, he still grappled with the person he was, or the person he was becoming. It scared him. Like Marzia said about how she was afraid Elio would hurt her, I think Elio felt the same way with Oliver. Elio did hurt Marzia. And Oliver did hurt Elio.
What I believe to be unique about this film is that Elio's father admitted he had never felt the way Elio did. He never had the relationship nor the dynamic that Elio and Oliver had and he recognized that it was once-in-a-lifetime. It's heartbreaking. Elio's love is so pure. It comes from since a genuine place in his heart and you can feel that.
I liken this movie to Running On Empty (1988), though the basis of the movies are so completely dissimilar, I feel that there's a lot of connections, directorially speaking. The way certain scenes played out just reminded me of the first time I watched Running On Empty. The first time I saw River Phoenix as Danny Pope. It was sort of a magical experience. I'm not saying that Elio is anything like Danny, but in some aspects they have similarities. I'm also not saying that Timothee is in anyway similar to River, I hate comparing new age actors to River because I don't believe anyone can even attempt to live up to his beautiful and talented self, however, Timothee's part in this movie did remind me of him. Michael Stuhlbarg also reminded me of Judd Hirsch. Their characters in CMBYN and ROE are so entirely different that it's hard to imagine why I made the connection. Although Hirsch's character is a lot tougher on Danny, I believe that it came out of the same place that Stuhlbarg's character held his pure loving wisdom for Elio. It just came out differently because the situations themselves were different. I think that, in his own way, Hirsch's character would've done something comparable to what Mr. Perlman did. I'd like to think that the movies, somehow, connect. In some way. Maybe Elio and Danny knew each other. Possibly loved each other. It's comforting. It helps me get over the heartbreak that came with Oliver's engagement.
Although I may be biased, I really loved this movie. Like, thoroughly and completely enjoyed it. It hurt me, it made me laugh and cry, but it moved me, too. I think the best thing about movies like this is they teach you so much and inspire you in ways you never dreamed possible. I may be romanticizing this movie far too much based on how I currently feel, and if that's the case, I apologize. It just feels so beautiful. I feel that beauty of entering a world foreign to you. And, it is romantic. It's intoxicatingly romantic. So, yeah, it's going to be a little bit dreamy and fluffy. Maybe I'll write a review in a year completely tearing myself apart for being so deluded or overcome with false perceptions (as it has happened in the past). Or maybe I'll feel exactly the same.