Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name is a beautifully poignant tale of first loves.
Set in Northern Italy in the early 1980’s we meet seventeen-year-old Elio, played by the extremely talented Timothée Chalamet.
Elio is in the midst of finding out who he is. He’s reclusive in nature, preferring to compose music or spend an afternoon reading the classics, than party until the early hours with his peers.
Everything changes when his father’s research assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer) comes to visit. Elio forms a close bond with the young man based on their Jewish heritage and love of Italy.
The bond between the two leads Elio to delve deeper into his identity and forces his to question his sexuality. Until now he’s been mostly heterosexual, with an ongoing flirtation with childhood friend Marzia in full flow.
But soon enough Marzia’s places in Elio’s sexual fantasies is taken up by Oliver.
Elio’s parents American professor Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg) and his beautiful, cosmopolitan wife (Amira Casar) know before the young men do, that the two are destined for great love, and in their own beautiful ways, give Elio their guidance and blessings.
Like all good love stories, the path doesn’t run smoothly for the two. This is the early 80’s you have to remember, when being outwardly gay was frowned upon in some social circles.
We watch Elio and Oliver dance around the subject and each other while seemingly no closer to making a move for most of the movie. But when they do it’s like watching a true love story unfold full of sex, passion and sadness.
This isn’t just the love story of two gay men, it’s a tale of first loves and the inevitable heartbreak than comes hand in hand with them.
At one stage or another we’ve all been Elio, discovering who we really are, exploring our sexuality. Guadagnino’s intimate love story is one of the most profound movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a story with real depth and heart.
The soundtrack is plain beautiful. The closing scene uses the song ‘Visions of Gideon’ by Sufjan Stevens. It’s such a perfect song for that moment. It’s simultaneously mesmerising and devastating.
In short, Call Me By Your Name is simply divine.
By Ruth Walker
- BAFTA Winner: Best Adapted Screenplay
- Golden Globes: 3 Nominations – Best Picture (Drama), Best Actor (Drama), Best Supporting Actor
- BAFTA: 4 Nominations – Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Uprising Star
- Oscars: 4 Nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor