A summer in Italy that no one can forget once they’ve experienced it. The film adaptation of André Aciman’s novel “Call Me By Your Name” is one that draws you in with its stunning visuals, and then traps you in the compelling story it tells of maturity, romance and self-discovery. A film which is likely to become a classic of its time, director Luca Guadagnino has truly outdone himself in nearly every aspect of this film.
The film follows the story of Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and his summer at his family’s Italian villa with his father and mother, where Oliver (Armie Hammer) is visiting as this summer’s new student intern with Elio’s father, a classics professor. The summer of 1983 in Northern Italy proves to be one filled with the expected and unexpected, from Elio’s days spent composing and transposing classical music, to the relationships which blossom and flourish between Elio and the local Marzia (Esther Garrel), as well as Elio and Oliver themselves.
“Call Me By Your Name” stars from left, Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer. Sony Pictures/Everett Collection
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have been told for years to watch this film. Ever since its release in 2017, it has received worldwide acclaim and for good reason. The story is one that many people can relate to, even outside of the LGBTQ+ community. Summer romances have been a fixture of film for decades, and “Call Me By Your Name” takes this concept to a new height. However, the representation for the LGBTQ+ community cannot be ignored, and it is one of the simplest yet effective portrayals. While many films provide external conflict, this film chooses to focus on the internal conflict that arises in many members of the community, which creates a much more compelling narrative and creates tension not only between our leading pair and the outside world, but within the pair themselves. With minimal dialogue, the power of Chalamet and Hammer’s acting shines through as one of the true highlights of the film. With many scenes simply filled with instrumental music or the sounds of everyday life in 1983 Italy, each action portrays meaning and develops the story.
On the topic of music, the soundtrack for this film is one of the many reasons to experience it for yourself. The Academy Award nominated track “Mystery of Love” is a poignant piece which captures the essence of the film. However, the rest of the music truly shines to bring life to scenes with minimal dialogue, giving the audience true insight into the emotions of the characters. The melancholy “Visions of Gideon” closes the film, providing a haunting reflection for the viewer.
Timothee Chalamet as Elio Perlman in “Call Me By Your Name” Sony Pictures Classics
If you are looking for a new film to analyze, feeling melancholy, or simply looking for something to take in viewing after viewing, this is a film I would recommend. I would also recommend a box or two of tissues, as even I, who does not cry at the movies, required some after this film. However, I would truly say it is worth it for the cinematic wonder awaiting you.