Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★★★★

Par ce que c'estoit luy; par ce que c'estoit moy.

It goes without saying that Luca Guadagnino is a master of vividly portraying the senses on screen. In A Bigger Splash (2016) and I Am Love (2009), he explored the intensity of lust and immorality. But here in Call Me By Your Name (2017), he explores the intensity of pure, unadulterated desire, emotion, and innocence. This movie is so deeply rooted in love. The love for studying culture, for music, for reading, for someone else, and for Italy. Luca’s always been explicit in his love for his country and nature, and he takes us on a journey of the summer countryside filled with fruit, birds, insects, streams, and a sea of greens and yellows. And all the while, he tells the story of a romance that’s so strong and consuming like no other that he’s shown in his other films. 

I can’t express how subdued and natural this movie is. Guadagnino has a habit of getting a little cinematic with his techniques to show certain emotions, but he does away with that habit to let this story ebb and flow naturally. It’s a story that begins and ends somewhere, but moves without any sort of certain direction and that’s really the best way to express the abrupt passion between Elio and Oliver. And Elio is a smart and self-assured character that’s taken aback by something so unexpected and powerful and causes him to explore his newly-discovered vulnerability, and Timothée Chalamet embodies Elio to deliver the most natural and flat-out best male performance of 2017. And Armie Hammer accompanies him in that manner with his character of the confident, understanding, and guiding Oliver who finds himself touching his tender and emotional core. Also, Michael Stuhlbarg is fantastic in his role as Elio’s father, and he gives one of the most touching and memorable moments in this movie.

Call Me By Your Name *is* as good as everyone has said it is and more. What better person to tell an Italian love story than Luca Guadagnino? I even found myself falling more in love with this due to the parallels I saw with the relationship on screen to the one in my own life with my boyfriend (who is still hesitant to watch this due to the controversy of the age gap between Elio and Oliver, but I’m going to convince him with #facts about the age of consent in Italy. I know he’ll love it and we’ll talk about how it reminds us of each other. I’m so happy I can say that.)

I love music, and reading, and dancing, and Hanukkah, and swimming, and riding bikes, and eating, and Greco-Roman culture, and button-ups, and writing, and Italy, and peaches, and the valid bisexuals.

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