Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Written by: Brandon Burnett

I’ve seen Call Me by Your Name three times since its screening at NYFF and with each viewing, my love for the film grows. With great attention to detail, the film follows Elio (Timotheé Chalamet) and his relationship with his father’s research assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer). As the summer progresses, their friendship deepens, gradually developing into a romance. 

Yet, to simply label this film as a romance would be doing it a major disservice. It’s so much more. It’s a portrait of first love, of two people sharing a genuine connection, of sexual awakening. It’s a coming of age unlike any other. 

Despite not being flashy or sumptuous, director Luca Guadagnino showcases his brilliance and talent like never before. Rather than rushing to plot points, he takes his time in developing the central relationship, letting it unfold with nonchalance and grace. 
Guadagnino handles Elio and Oliver’s scenes with such delicacy, such care, that their intimacy and passion hit a core; we’re not watching two actors, but rather two people. 

Of course, much credit is due to the two leads. Both Chalamet and Hammer bring tremendous depth to the characters, their vulnerability, uncertainty, and curiosity. Together, their chemistry is unquestionable. As simple as it might sound, their romance feel real, without an ounce of artificiality or contrivance. 

Call Me by Your Name isn’t a movie you just watch. You feel it. You feel the summer heat. You feel the Italian isolation. You feel the early 80s atmosphere. More than anything, you feel the humanity.

Mercer Malakoff