Call Me By Your Name” is, without a doubt, a movie I wish would have never ended.
Seriously. It was 132 minutes of pure emotion between Elio, Oliver, and I. Everything from the casting to the narrative was perfect. The director of the film, Luca Guadagnino, deserves a cake for this one.
The film begins in the summer of 1983. A young American graduate student named Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives “somewhere in Northern Italy,” at the house of Professor Perlman and his wife, Annella. Like the couple, Oliver is Jewish. The star of David can be seen hanging around his neck. Every year, the Professor is in need of an assistant, and Oliver is the lucky one that year.
Cue Elio (Timothee Chalamet). He’s the Perlmans’ only child, and he’s seventeen. At first, Elio and Oliver barely share glances. It’s simply because they hardly have anything in common. They eventually share a bathroom and a bedroom. From there, they share handshakes, cigarettes, and lots of kisses (more than that, but the movie doesn’t keep it PG). Their relationship is oh, so painfully exquisite.
No film like this is ever just happy. Of course, there were a few scenes that broke my heart. Elio and Marzia’s relationship, for one, spit on my heart. She and Elio date for a little while, even when Elio falls for Oliver. She’s always there for Elio, never leaves his side (figuratively, of course). She’s there in the beginning when he and Oliver first meet, and she’s there at the end when Elio returns home without his lover.
It was impossible for me to not fall in love with all of the characters. I wanted to be in the film with them, reading the newspaper with them and listening to Elio play the piano. There’s no rush in Elio and Oliver’s love, their first kiss is even clumsy and unforced. There’s a real subtle beauty in their love story.
No matter the beauty, I still learned that one summer is not enough for a romance like this.
Watch it. Learn from it. Yell at the cinematic (or computer) screen. Don’t expect a happy, fairytale ending (movies like this never end that way, come on). But love it regardless.
5 stars, Luca Guadagnino.