Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★★★★


I'm still letting this settle inside me so I can't - and don't want to - try and write a full and articulate review.
I will say that I feel blessed to somehow, every year since my first London Film Festival in 2013, witness some great act of love.
From Blue is the Warmest Colour that year, to Mommy, Girlhood and American Honey in the consecutive years and now Call Me By Your Name in 2017.
Films that paint luminous and vivid pictures of life, films which carry emotional truths and make the air around me feel lighter after, films that make me want to be kinder, more patient, and more true to myself.
Maybe I just choose well, because I know what will resonate with me, but I've always felt there was almost a narrative thread tying all these specific films from LFF together for me.
But I digress.
I was in high school when I read Andre Aciman's achingly, ludicrously romantic novel of the same name which director Luca Guadagnino adapted Call Me By Your Name from.
My Dad bought it for me on my request and this was likely not long after he came out to me, so it felt even more special that I got to see this with him today and watch something that so accurately and affably celebrates love.
On the subject of fathers (very minor thematic spoilers ahead); during the surprise Q&A with Guadagnino and his editor after the screening, he made a point of mentioning that while some people may find Mr. Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg)'s speech to Elio (Timothee Chalamet) at the end of the film "utopic", Aciman lifted this warm wisdom and acceptance directly from his own father.
Guadagnino went on to posit that maybe there are fathers out there like that.
Call Me By Your Name excels on optimism like this, but never allows the sun of its sentiment to disarm the impact and heartbreak of the narrative.
First love can be excruciatingly painful, but it doesn't have to be all bad.
We can always choose to keep our hearts open, and it might just be essential that we do.

P.S. Sufjan Stevens is the true gay icon, his contribution to this film is invaluable and every single heterosexual who walked in front of the screen to leave the cinema before the actual end of the film - during a goddamn ongoing long-take - just because the credits were rolling to the side of the frame, owes me £50.

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