“… a touching, endearing, wonderful film that I had the pleasure of enjoying every second of.”
Last night I went and saw Call Me by Your Name and it was a phenomenal experience. It’s hard to put the plot of the movie into a succinct summary, but at its core it is about a relationship between two men in the 80’s. The way that Call Me by Your Name tackles this subject is very mature, and also really delicate. It’s one of those movies that immerses you from the get-go, and doesn’t release until the credits have started to roll.
The first thing I have to discuss would be the performances which were amazing. First of all you have Armie Hammer who hasn’t been in a movie where he hasn’t played Armie Hammer. This may sound like a diss, but luckily the roles he always play call for an ‘Armie Hammer’, so luckily nothing bad has come of it yet. Call Me by Your Name is no different with the character of Oliver being very confident, kind of arrogant, and charming beyond all belief. Armie Hammer slides into this role with ease by simply being himself. But the standout for me was hands-down Timothée Chalamet who played the films lead, Elio. As Elio, a 17-year-old boy who is coming to terms with his feelings, Chalamet had to convey a lot of complex emotions in his performance; and he nailed it. I couldn’t relate to a whole lot of what was being shown on screen, but I could relate to the emotions being conveyed even just on Elio’s face. The amount of subtlety and grace shown with this performance and Chalamet’s obvious care for the character he was portraying definitely shines through and makes sure you see it. And another mention would have to go to Michael Stuhlbarg who played Elio’s loving, supporting father for the entire movie and then breaks out this beautiful monologue at the end that came close to moving me to tears. It was stunning.
But that’s something that struck me about Call Me by Your Name when the film ended, I didn’t feel as though anyone in the movie evolved in a traditional sense. I don’t know that the Elio at the end is much different from the Elio at the beginning, but that’s okay. What Call Me by Your Name did was present us with a period of time in the lives of these characters; and we got to live it with them. We saw happiness, heartbreak, and anger come and go but by the end of the film we can recognize that this was merely a chapter in the lives of these characters.
I also found the direction in the film to be stunning, really bringing out the beauty not only in the films location but also in the story itself. There were a few moments of what I would call ‘bizarre’ directions choices, with intentionally unfocused shots or a weird dream-sequence with inverted colours, but for the most part Call Me by Your Name stayed rather pedestrian opting to accentuate the already existing beauty of the backdrop and the story. I also really loved the musical accompaniment in the film, as I felt it also really added to the beauty of the film. One thing I will say is that although I loved the Sufjan Stevens songs and I felt they went well with the movie, their inclusion in the actual film kind of felt out of place for me; especially with the first song. The movie up to that point had orchestral accompaniment, mainly piano, so having a full-blown song come in out of nowhere kind of made the movie feel like a music video for a few minutes. This was really jarring the first time, but the second time seemed to fit a little better. That’s not to say I was completely fine with it, but maybe I was a little more prepared for the switch.
Overall Call Me by Your Name is a touching, endearing, wonderful film that I had the pleasure of enjoying every second of. The stunning direction, amazing performances, and wonderful score all come together to create an experience that is magical from start to finish. This is a movie that everyone should see.
I give Call Me by Your Name an A