“Call Me By Your Name” One of the Best of the Year!
The New York Film Festival is having a stellar year. It is just about to reveal that “Call Me By Your Name” by Italian Director Luca Gaudagnino is one of the best films of the year and one of the most beautiful films you’ll ever see and the greatest gay film of all time. Or one of them. It’s right up there in terms of majesty and courage with “Brokeback Mountain.” Just as we’ve never been able to get the star-crossed lovers of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal out of our collective minds, so will newcomer Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer(“The Social Network”) be linked together for eternity, so beautiful, so tender is their love story. And in Gaudagnino’s hands so casual, so comfortable, so engaging and so absolutely irresistible. Bravo to all!
In this difficult time we now live in, how welcome is a sweet,peaceful film about love? We NEED to see this simple affirmation of human dignity and ROMANCE.
Starting off an a very natural note of casual shyness, Elio (Chalamet) wanders around this parents’ sun-dappled villa in Liguria in Northern Italy in 1983, shirtless, lazy and lost. He finds himself when a summer guest, who is a strapping American, who is joining the professional American/Italian intellectual enclave that Elio’s parents belong to, as a research assistant. Oliver is at first a colleague of his father’s (the always excellent Michael Stuhlbarg) and then gradually becomes a playmate and true friend to teenaged Elio.
If I have one quarrel with “Call Me By Your Name” it is the deep longeur of the meandering first hour. But when sparks start to fly, they FLY!
Unlike in “Brokeback” there is no great societal force keeping Elio and Oliver away from each other. In fact, Elio’s parents ENCOURAGE the developing relationship, which does turn in to a deep erotic bond, the likes of which we’ve never really seen portrayed on screen in this subtlety, depth and beauty. Chalamet and Hammer are off the charts erotic, and yes, there are many, many loves scenes, so beautiful I can barely describe them. Use your imagination and you’ll be right!
As the summer progresses so does Elio’s experience of his own body. Everything around him becomes sexually charged. There is a scene in bed, where Elio alone regards a luscious, large peach as if it were Oliver. and as the juice as he squeezes it runs all over his shirtless, hairless chest and down into his pants and — Well, I’ll stop there. Suffice it say, you’ve never be able to see a peach again without thinking of Oliver. And Elio….
Chalamet and Hammer could both end up nominated for the Oscars this year and well they should be. Elio and Oliver are iconic roles. And Guadagnino, as director, has never been better. He approaches everything so slowly, so carefully, so delicately, it’s almost unbearable, until the two lovers come together in a delicious, exquisite slow burn.
And in bed, they have the sensuous, intimate moment when Oliver tells Elio to “Call me by your name.” In other words, he wants Elio to call him, Elio. And he’ll call Elio Oliver. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s swoon-worthy. It’s like the transmigration of souls when true love is at its’ ultimate moment, and identity is shared and also obliterated by one-ness.
There are no heavy scenes in this movie of stillness and caresses, and love, love, love.
I never wanted “Call Me By Your Name” to end. I want to see it again IMMEDIATELY! And so will you!
“Call Me By Your Name” is sublime.