Directed by Luca Guadagnino
Based on the novel Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
Screenplay by James Ivory
Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel
Seventeen year-old Elio (Chalamet) begins to fall for his father’s research assistant, Oliver (Hammer). As they spend the summer in Northern Italy together, they find themselves in an unexpected relationship.
This film is based on André Aciman’s novel of the same name. The novel was adapted by James Ivory (A Room with a View), and the film was directed by Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash). The cast features Armie Hammer (Nocturnal Animals), Timothée Chalamet (Hostiles), Michael Stuhlbarg (The Shape of Water), Amira Casar (Planetarium), and Esther Garrel (Thirst Street). This film has received large amounts of praise, and earned four Oscar nominations including Best Picture.
This film was adapted by James Ivory from the critically acclaimed novel of the same name by André Aciman. The story is a somewhat sentimental look at a summer love affair in Northern Italy. The characters are interesting from the very beginning, and the dynamics between them are nicely established. With the dynamics in place, the film begins to explore the relationship between Oliver and Elio. The film deals in the complex concepts of love, lust, loss, and self-identity. These many concepts are often overwhelming as the story pushes the emotional tones very strongly. This is a nicely written film that I found thought-provoking even though I didn’t quite connect with the material. The script is strong, and Ivory earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
This film features a collection of great performances from most of the central cast. Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet give equally strong performances in this one. Their work relies on great chemistry, and it is clearly there. Both of these men also handle the emotional demands of the story, as well as the changes in their characters that occur as the movie progresses. Chamalet was nominated for Best Actor for his work in this one. Michael Stuhlbarg also delivers a great performance in his role. The work done by Amira Casar and Esther Garrel are also solid, and the rest of the cast does good work as well.
This film has the visual sensibility of a memoir. (My Father’s Glory comes to mind.) The camera work is good, and the locations and sets all add to the feeling of authenticity. The film also features the song “The Mystery of Live” by Sufjan Stevens. This song was nominated for Best Original Song.
This is a powerful film with a deep emotional current that runs throughout. On the surface, the material might not connect with everyone, but the deeper emotions are definitely relate-able. This does narrow the audience a bit, but it’s a solid story that pays off nicely. If you’re a fan of the stars this is a great chance to see some incredible performances. I would also recommend this to anyone who enjoys deep drama and romance. I give this one 4.3 out of 5 stars.