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Call Me by Your Name
+ Digital HD with Ultraviolet
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It’s the summer of 1983 in Italy, and Elio (Chalamet), a precocious 17-year-old, spends his days in his family’s villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading and flirting with his friend Marzia. One day, Oliver (Hammer), a charming American scholar arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father, an eminent professor. Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.
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Yes, it is a film about first love and coming of age. Yes, it is a gay relationship. Yes, the characters are 17 and 24. But this is not a “sex film” as some think. Instead, this is a film influenced by Proust ( the author of the novel is an expert on the French author) and deals with the themes of time and memory.
No action. No explosions. No great tragedy, just the awakening of longing and desire, and the passing of time.
I was astounded by Elio, at once sophisticated and innocent, unsure about his awakening feelings and sexuality in one moment, yet confident and filled with bravado the next. This is about first love in its purest form, beautifully acted and embodied by both lead actors. There is definitely sexuality/sensuality but none of it is gratuitous: the first fumblings of the act as well as the deep earnestness of love. There is some nudity and there are strong implications of various sexual acts. It’s all beautifully done.
The beauty of the relationship transcends everything. This beauty is not limited to just Elio and Oliver, however, as Elio’s parents are amazing in their unconditional love and support. His dad’s monologue brought me to tears. It’s so full of tenderness and understanding. The friendship Elio has with Marzia is also wonderful in its simple acceptance.
This movie touched me on a fundamental level. I can’t remember the last time a film moved me as this one did. The actors and movie all deserve accolades and recognition for their work, but especially Timothée. He is absolutely fabulous and it is an Oscar worthy performance. Whoever cast this did an excellent job since the chemistry between Armie and Timothée is wonderful, as well as Elio’s parents. If you can, watch it in theaters at least once. You’ll appreciate the wide shots and cinematography better, not to mention the music. Then you can savor it on the small screen when it’s released on video. I’ve watched it twice so far. Still awesome. Bottom line, see this movie. Loved loved loved.
CMBYN has been nominated for the following Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor (yay!!), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song. Not bad, but I’m disappointed that Luca isn’t nominated for Best Director and that neither Armie Hammer nor Michael Stuhlbarg are nominated for Supporting Actor. At least one of these three guys should have been. I’m really pulling for Timothée Chalamet for his amazing performance but all signs are pointing to Gary Oldman 😕. Hopefully, the Academy will get it right.
On to another issue. There have been some detractors due to the age difference between the characters. Elio is 17 to Oliver’s 24, but as I commented to a negative reviewer, Elio is a gifted, sophisticated young man, and although he may have less life experiences than Oliver when they meet, he seems more in tune emotionally than Oliver is at the beginning of the story. They connect deeply on an emotional level because they are each other’s first emotional surrender. Think of it this way. There are many gifted people out there who probably did not connect with their peers due to their giftedness while growing up (or even as adults). Elio is sort of the same way. They stimulate each other intellectually, emotionally, and sensually. Do I think this age difference would work for everyone? No, but it certainly does here because of Elio’s overall maturity and his cosmopolitan lifestyle. I just wanted to mention this because there are some people, albeit not many, who are very much missing the point of this story and are fixated on a non-issue.
This is a story of love: romantic, familial, platonic, in a gorgeous setting. Simply let yourself get lost in it and just feel. And hopefully, it will open up your heart and your mind to... well, everything.
Favorite movie of the year (or maybe ever) and one that will stand the test of time.
Everybody can relate to the characters at some point in their lives. Good story, excellent acting and directing. It definitely made me think of whats important in life. VIVRE ET LAISSE VIVRE!!!