writers: André Aciman
8,4 of 10 Stars
Release Date: 2017
Cast: Armie Hammer
Director: Luca Guadagnino
I’m glad I had a chance to see “Call Me By Your Name, which is an extraordinary film about love, and lust, and sexuality, and coming of age, and right, and wrong, and cultural blending, and humanness at this moment in history and always. It’s less than that too, and very sensual.
The film stars Timothy Chalamet as a 17 year old American boy summering with his college professor parents in Italy, in 1983. The family takes in an older male graduate student (Armie Hammer) as a house guest to assist with the father’s academic research, and the man develops lustful feelings for the boy who reluctantly reciprocates. The film builds on that connection, turning it into a fully charged sexual relationship that both characters recognize is socially unacceptable, but they carry along anyway in the shadow of the parents who knowingly allow it to blossom. The film delivers moments of tenderness, and moments of discomfort that beg for an off switch but nevertheless must be seen. It’s a complex film stuffed with metaphor and message, but that message probably won’t sit well in contemporary America. In that sense, the film feels very Italian and very, very, grown up.
“Call Me by Your Name” is mostly in English, but there is some Italian with subtitles. If you see “Call Me by Your Name” please give the closing credits their due and spend the last 3:25 appreciating a single lingering tight-shot of Timothy Chalamet, as his character relives the enormity of one brief summer burned into his soul forever. It’s an unforgettable shot that closes out a powerfully memorable film.