This post comes from a place of utter infatuation and a realization that I haven’t mentioned this movie anywhere but my Twitter feed or to Gavin (and, trust me, he hears more than enough of my ramblings).
Call Me By Your Name is the movie I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with. I knew nothing about it before I saw it back at the New York Film Festival in October. I assumed it was a boring subtitled, 2+ hour movie that I would very much dislike. While only one of those things is true, it ended up being one of my favorite films from the festival.
The son of a professor, Elio (Timothée Chalamet), falls in love with the visiting post-grad student, Oliver (Armie Hammer), who’s visiting their Italian villa for the summer. It’s based on the 2008 book of the same name by André Aciman. Directed by Luca Guadagnino.
This movie has had me thinking about it nonstop for the past few weeks since I’ve seen it. It’s a beautiful story about first love, and those moments that make a lasting mark in your memory. It’s also a gay love story in which no one is punished (by society or disease) for their love. It’s also a coming-of-age film where Elio discovers, grapples with, and understands more about his identity.
Chalamet gives a once-in-a-lifetime performance as Elio. Don’t get me wrong – he will likely give many, many more acclaimed performances over what, I’m sure, will be a long career. But he was born to play Elio. (It will be a sore injustice if he is not nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor). The best, most heart-wrenching, and indelible scene of his comes during the end credits. Trust me – do NOT stand up and walk out when the credits begin to roll.
Hammer also gives an understated, but still touching, performance as Oliver. He also proves himself a mighty fine dancer:
And bonus points to Michael Stuhlbarg (who plays Elio’s dad and professor to Oliver) and his amazing third-act monologue. If you don’t find yourself tearing up during this moment, I might question your humanity.
It’s only the beginning of December (the month is young!), but this might, very well, be my favorite movie of the year. It’s likely already playing in a city near you, or it’s on its way. Check here.
PS: Armie Hammer is happening in this movie (sorry, Anne Helen), and we’re all the better for it!
PPS: If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, here it is:
Photos: Sony Pictures Classics