Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★½

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (Guadagnino, USA/Italy, 2017, 5)

Yes, it looks swoonworthily gorgeous. But I was feeling utterly indifferent throughout it, no doubt in part because of narrative aimlessness that seems to be Guadagnino’s feature-not-bug but also because of the age gap and all that this implies, which I’m not seeing much comment about. While I wasn’t the biggest fan of Haigh’s WEEKEND, those two men were far richer characters than these two shirtless-as-often-as-possible Ken dolls. And CALL ME has little else to be about, as Guadagnino has basically made an all-XY version of those Harlequin bodice-rippers and it’s just about as substantial. I get why some people loved the late monologue by the father, but I was disturbed by some quite plain implications about the boy’s mother. I was also put off by the film’s handling of Jewishness which is too explicit (sort-of-first and sort-of-last scenes and constant necklaces) to have no dramatic impact whatever. If you can turn off your brain and enjoy the scenery (of all sorts), it probably seems like a great film.

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