Review: Call Me By Your Name (2017)


Luca Guadagnino continues his recent streak of sumptuous dramas set in exotic locales with coming-of-age romance Call Me By Your Name, conveivably the most commercial of all. Elio (Timothée Chalamet), an intelligent 17-year-old who lives with his parents in their rustic villa in the North of Italy, becomes infatuated with Oliver (Armie Hammer), a scholar who comes to stay for the summer. Their curiosity with one another leads to passion that’s heightened by Guadagnino’s lingering camera work and suggestive sexual motifs. The script by James Ivory – adapted from André Aciman’s novel – is beautifully composed; lustful yet elegant in the same breath in a way that ensures a relaxed and open atmosphere throughout. Though set in the 80s (realised both aesthetically and in the characters’ initial suppression of their true feelings), the film embeds itself in universal themes of love, passion and self-discovery, making its reach far wider and depth far profound than one may expect. It helps tremendously that both leads – perhaps Chalamet in particular for the way he captures the preciousness of Elio’s desires and first love – are so tremendous in their parts, the icing on an already modern triumph that culminates with a father-son heart-to-heart for the ages.

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