DARRYL RAY The Mainstream
“Call Me by Your Name,” is quite simply a work of art as it amplifies a beautifully yet subtle complex story of love. Director Luca Guadagnino artistically crafted this film so well, that like all great artist, his work feels effortless.
Taking place in a small Italian town during the summer of 1983, “Call Me by Your Name” follows the story of Elio as he slowly falls for an older student intern that has come to live in his home. The story between Elio and the intern Oliver gets told perfectly through a gentle pace that gives the film a sense of ultra realism. This slower pace works because of the settings constant beauty, showcasing this beautiful landscapes through gorgeous cinematography satisfies and holds your attention. Because love takes time to grow and develop this leisurely pace also adds in giving the movie such a realistic feeling.
The overall atmosphere is perhaps one of the highest points of the film. A perfect example is in a scene in which Elio is waiting for Oliver, the scene is captured through a sparingly use of rain, a jaw dropping film filter, and gorgeous soundtrack that fully captures Elios feeling of longing. This same constant ever changing atmosphere captivates your attention through the entire roughly two hour run time.
Another high point of the movie comes through the performances, most notably from the leads, Timothee Chalamet (Elio) and Armie Hammer (Oliver) who have real genuine chemistry. Chalamet is relatively new to mainstream cinema, where Hammer is known for his roles in the “Social Network” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E”. Chalamet flawlessly plays Elios character of a 17 year old boy learning more about himself and love. Parallel to Chalamet, Hammer is able to portray an overly confident and strong man in his early 20s. But one who is in fact tender, and learning just as much about himself as Elio. These performances are coupled with additional carefully crafted character interactions. The best example of this is between Elio and his parents in a scene where he lays across his parents as they read a german fairy tale to him.
Many new movies bring something different to the table every year, but “Call Me by Your Name” truly is a film like no other. It feels free of conventional movie making and storytelling. It takes more time to slowly reel in the story and let events unfold with a natural feeling. Instead of focusing on wow factors or obstacles for the characters to overcome.
“Call Me by Your Name”s unflinchingly real in its pace, and even more so of its depiction of love. It doesn’t fall for traditional boy meets lover cliches, but allows to follow a realistic relationship to build and unfold. Viewers will leave feeling like they experienced a story not just watched a movie.
The only minor flaw with the movie is that some of the dialog seems vague at times and can be hard to follow with too much being left up to assumption. This pales to the masterpiece that is this film however.
While some people may skip this movie due to its subject matter, they will miss out on this awe inspiring film. “Call Me by Your Name” is a purely gorgeous film experience viewers will not soon forget. It is entirely worthy of its best picture nomination for this years Oscars, and even more worth audiences time.