By: I. Maluf
Title: Call me by your name
Release date: January 18th 2018
Director: Luca Guadignino
Main cast: Armie Hammer, Timothee Chamalet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel
Screenplay by: James Ivory (adaptation from André Aciman’s book)
Budget: $3.5 million
Box office: $22.4 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 96%
Call Me By Your Name, based on Andre Aciman's 2007 novel, tells a story of love between two human beings in a heartfelt, sensitive way. It is a movie that seems to focus on the feeling of love rather than on the characters themselves, making the fact that both protagonists are male insignificant compared to what they felt for each other throughout the film. It is a narrative that exceeds gender; that’s why it is so unique.
The film is set in the summer of 1983 in northern Italy, and follows Elio Perlman (Timothee Chalamet), a 17 year old American-Italian teenager spending his days in his family's estate and the surrounding town. One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), arrives at the villa to work on his doctorate degree as the annual summer intern chosen to help Elio's father with his research. While living in the same house, Elio and Oliver develop an awkward animosity between each other, but this tension soon blooms into attraction and then finally turns into love.
Throughout the coming-of-age film, the protagonist inevitably starts discovering more about himself and soon starts feeling all the pain and joy that accompanies first love and growing up. Although Elio is extremely cultured and educated, there is a certain vulnerability to him, and this is clearly shown in the last scene of the movie where he appears crying, emotion displayed unguardedly on his features. This striking scene shows how powerful the directing of this film is, and how it makes the audience able to truly empathize and feel alongside the protagonist throughout the entirety of the movie. Call Me By Your Name is so impacting because of the remarkably candid way it was constructed. In between idyllic scenes set in rural Italy under the sun-drenched summer, the viewers find themselves falling in love with the town and the characters. Also, the powerful soundtrack only adds to the aesthetics of the film and makes the key scenes even more impactful with a mixture of 80s pop, classical and alternative music.
This movie deserves all three Oscar nominations it received because of the sheer genius in it. Not only was the acting flawless, but the sets, script and directing were impeccable too, making it one of the best films I’ve ever seen.