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‘Call Me By Your Name’ is more than just one of the best films of 2017

Prepare to fall in love with Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet and wish Michael Stuhlbarg was your father.
Armie Hamme in Call Me By Your Name
[Image: Sony Pictures Classic]

‘Call Me By Your Name’

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg

Rating: R

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5 (Out Of 5) Globes

Plot: 17-year-old Elio Perlman (Timothee Chalamet) has spent the summer of 1983 in a 17th century villa in Lombardy, Italy, with his mother (Amira Casar) and father (Michael Stuhlbarg), who is a professor of archeology. Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives in Italy to work as an intern for Elio’s father, while also exploring the area nearby. Over several weeks, though, Elio and Oliver strike up a romance, but is it destined to just be fleeting?

Review: I already know words won’t be able to fully epitomize my infatuation with “Call Me By Your Name.” The best I can muster is that it is such an all-consuming depiction of love it leaves you battered, bruised, and exhausted, yet you still find yourself yearning and returning to its beauty from time to time. Much like being in love itself.  

“Call Me By Your Name” strikes such a chord because it finds and depicts the moments, looks, and interchanges where love makes you thrive, or die, and which you ultimately look to learn from. What makes it feel so invigorating and poetic, though, is just how complicated, just how human it is.

Director Luca Guadagnino connects with Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet’s characters in such an intimate manner that the screen between audience and screen dissipates. As a viewer you connect to the cinematic parlance that smolders and intensifies throughout, forgetting to even judge their decisions being made as director and actor, and just intrinsically trusting you’re being guided in the most powerful manner. Thus, every emotion that’s presented on screen achingly chimes, and the petulance, paranoia, anger, lust, and longing that the leading pair go through seep into you.

Under Guadagnino’s guidance, Hammer and Chalamet forge a genuine dynamic, friendship, bond, and love that is so perceptive and strong it taps into the relationships you have shared. You can see the characters living and learning from every moment, while Guadagnino depicts the slow, lazy summer in such a pitch perfect fashion that you don’t even feel yourself becoming more and more ensconced in the film.

To go into more details wouldn’t be fair, as "Call Me By Your Name" demands to be experieced as a film. Let me just say, though, that the subtle majesty and power of the interchange in its penultimate scene is only matched by the sheer gall and lingering beauty of its final shot, which while satisfying thematically allows the film and its characters to twist and grow in your conscious long after the credits have rolled.

The fact that its final shot and the film as a whole is still festering in my head nearly two months after I originally saw "Call Me By Your Name" is the ultimate proof that it isn’t just one of the best films of 2017, but it is also what cinema is really all about, too. 

 
 
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