Monday 12 February 2018

Film Review: Call Me By Your Name

Call Me By Your Name
11 February 2018
132 mins
Luca Guadagnino (Director)
Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg

In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape. (IMDB Synopsis)

Call Me By Your Name is a stunning movie visually, emotionally, and in terms of its casting. The pacing is fairly slow, but in a way that builds tension and expectation, rather than in a sense that it drags. Being a keen linguist and musician myself, I loved those little moments, and the way the two lead characters bonded over those shared interests. (The classical score was also perfect.) Armie Hammer is, I believe, a hugely underrated actor, and he gives a star turn here, as does his young co-star, Timothée Chalamet. However, for me, the standout performance was from Michael Stuhlbarg. His role is very secondary at the start, but towards the end of the film, he has one scene with Chalamet in which he gives the most beautiful, nuanced monologue, and it is worth seeing the film for that scene alone. With a poignant, bittersweet ending, this is not a happy film in the fairytale romance sense; however, in many ways it is very life affirming, and there is a subtle beauty in the melancholy. Go and see this film if you are looking for a thoughtful, memorable drama. I will definitely be heading off to read the original book now.

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