Call Me By Your Name Reviewed by Jarred Tito

The Premise
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, the new film by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman. It's the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Chalamet), a precocious 17- year-old young man, spends his days in his family's 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia (Garrel). Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father (Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella (Casar), a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights. While Elio's sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), a 24-year-old American college graduate student working on ...

The Review
This is a love story that isn’t marred with tragedy or loss. It’s an unlikely romance that is in every way a very likely coming of age scenario. However, it is also a story that is not likely to be told. So, by the mere fact that it has been told gives it an unlikely triumph in the movie going world which will more than likely see it receive the notoriety and adoration that it may well deserve. Some might say that this is simply a genuine story of real relationship and attachment and nothing more and that the nature of the relationship between a same sex couple is what actually provides the cinematic and dramatic fascination and tension. Whichever way you look at it, this is not a film that will sit comfortably with every viewer, but it is certainly a film that every viewer will remember.

The director, Luca Guadagnino, is well regarded as one of the foremost romantic story tellers of our time, and for good reason. Each film he has made has a sensual edge to it that captures the human heart and imagination. Guadagnino is a true artist in every sense. Dramatic timing and pace are very important in the telling of any story. ‘Call Me By Your Name’ captures this essence in every critical way.

The performances by both of the lead actors, Armie Hammer (who plays the 24-year-old Oliver who actually looks 29 which he actually was at the time of the filming (which adds its own tension) and Timothee Chalamet (Elio, the 17-year-old love interest) are noteworthy. Each of them play their roles very naturally. Armie Hammer, in particular, seems to possess a filmic quality which makes you think that you’ve seen him in many films before. He has a very strong command over each scene that he appears in.

The Verdict
A strong film that deserves much of the critical acclaim that it is currently receiving. I would certainly place this film in the category of, ‘coming of age’ genres and note its artist qualities both by the director and the director of photography.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 28th December 2017
Rating: RP13 – Contains sex scenes
Duration: 132 minutes 
Genre:  Genre
Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg
Director: Luca Guadagnino (A Bigger Splash)

The Extras
On its premiere night, Call Me By Your Name received a 10 minute standing ovation, which is the longest standing ovation ever at the New York Film Festival.

In the book, Elio is 17 years old and Oliver is 24. Timothée Chalamet was 20 years old when the film was shot, while Armie Hammer was 29. The film is set in Italy, and the age of consent in the country is 14.

In September 2016, James Ivory revealed that Shia LaBeouf went to New York to do a reading for the film, and according to Ivory, he was great. But as time passed, LaBeouf had various troubles, so the production company felt they couldn't wisely go with him. Ivory thought they could have, but the production company didn't think so.

Sony Pictures Classics acquired the film for distribution even before it premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.