REVIEW — “Call Me By Your Name”
Peaches! Get it?!?
Call Me By Your Name is directed by Luca Guadagnino, written by James Ivory, and stars Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and Victoire Du Bois. It tells the story of 17-year-old Elio Perlman, who is spending the summer with his family at their 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a handsome doctoral student who’s working as an intern for Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of their surroundings, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever. So Call Me By Your Name has had overwhelming buzz since it’s debut at Sundance, and it’s finally making it’s way into theaters, albeit very slowly. I’ve been fairly excited for this, and I was very happy to get a chance to see it. So, what did I think? Call Me By Your Name is a deeply moving experience with fantastic acting, directing, and cinematography. I was wowed from start to finish, and can’t wait to catch this again. It very much earned all of the hype.
Luca Guadagnino is directing here and he kills it. He demonstrates such restraint here and it really pays off. He’ll often hold the camera and very seldom cuts. He is able to get such compelling and moving performances out of his actors and makes it seem as if we are simply watching life unfold before us. It’s overwhelmingly emotional and supremely relatable. Anyone who isn’t crying by the end of this may not have a heart. Guadagnino has made a deeply personal film here and honestly reminded me of what it felt like to fall in love. It’s ambitious, erotic, daring and honest. I’ve never seen any of Luca’s previous work, but now I have to. He’s made a fan out of me and while I don’t want to gush the whole review, I just might have to. Flying colors to you Luca.
James Ivory penned the script and he kills it. This is based on a book of the same and I genuinely want to read the book. I just want more time with all these characters, I want to move to this town, I want to dance with Armie Hammer! It’s such a compelling and emotional story and has some of the best dialogue of the year. Ivory usually directs but here he’s just writing and he might want to consider staying that way. Call Me By Your Name has a detailed, layered, and nuanced script and I’d be interested to see what Ivory does next. He has written an actors dream, giving them so much to work with and such rich characters to embody. Ivory has knocked it out of the park.
Now, Call Me By Your Name has probably garnered most of its praise for it’s two leading performances, and it totally deserves it. I’ll start with Timothée Chalamet, who crushes it. He’s gained quite the following and is kinda Hollywood’s biggest upcoming actor. He was in a movie last year I really loved called Miss Stevens but this is by far his big break. With this and Lady Bird, he’s had quite the year. I don’t wanna be the 500th reviewer to say it, but you’ll definitely be seeing more of him. He is so great here. He is able to convey so much emotion and really makes Elio a real person. His performance is deeply moving and powerful. Who would have thought in the same year as performances from Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, and freaking Daniel Day-Lewis, a 22-year-old unknown would be the front-runner for Best Actor. But that not to say Chalamet is the only great performance here. Armie Hammer is equally as fantastic as Oliver. I’ve been a big fan of Hammer for some time and I’m glad he’s finally getting the roles he deserves. He’s come along way since The Lone Ranger and he’s one of the best actors working. He has a really great voice and he’s just so damn good here. Michael Stuhlbarg is also fantastic here, giving one of the most delicate and restrained performances in the film. Frank Ocean is not the only one who loved what he did here. While I could talk about how accomplished his year has been, I’m just glad to see A Serious Man in some stellar movies.
On a technical level, Call Me By Your Name is really great. As I said, the cinematography is really great, who would have thought Italy would have gorgeous scenery. It showcased the beauty of the landscape and the performances. The editing is solid and the score is really great as well. I don’t usually get very passionate about the Best Original Song category but if Sufjan Stevens does not win, I will riot. Both of his songs featured are fantastic and I really can’t stop listening to them. They add so much to an already fantastic film that I would be remiss if I did not mention him. Everything about Call Me By Your Name is great. Go see it.
As you can tell, I really loved Call Me By Your Name. It features spectacular cinematography, music, and showcases two of the finest performances of the year. 5/5