Call Me By Your Name  is an adaptation of André Aciman’s novel of the same name. Put simply, Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age romance drama. But delving deeper reveals a poetic narrative about sacred love which director Luca Guadagnino handles with the utmost care. The film stars frontrunner Armie Hammer and newcomer Timothée Chalamet as they indefinitely fall for each other in an idyllic 1983 Italy.
I’d like to start off by complimenting the script. The screenwriters (Luca Guadagnino and James Ivory) created a script that is versatile in transitioning between languages yet tight in delivering precise (never meaningless) dialogue between characters – notably the conversations between family members is especially realistic. Additionally, the writers have an accomplished style of conveying subtle emotions which complements Guadagnino’s directing techniques of filming them. There is a multitude of these ‘quiet’ scenes depicting intimate moments of Elio (Chalamet) dabbling with his newfound emotions and experiencing conflicting feelings which Guadagnino captures in such an expertly executed way to encapsulate Elio and his first love.
Call Me By Your Name was crafted so every aspect of the filmmaking complements each other. Timothée Chalamet was given such a perfected script that his acting was properly realized into a spellbinding performance. In terms of young stars, Chalamet is truly a revolution when expressing even the tiniest of reactions – the hype that follows him is to be believed. Furthermore, the setting of Lombardy is picture-perfect for an idealized Summer romance. Again, Guadagnino captures the stunning scenery of Italy as he takes the audience on an adventure alongside these characters. Unfortunately, the period of the Summer causes some pacing issues (which I believe can’t be entirely avoided) but is necessary for the development of Oliver and Elio’s story.
Also present is a lingering musical score composed by Sufjan Stevens that heightens the onscreen affections. The score is one of (if not, the best) original compositions this year. Conveying such a silky atmosphere, Steven’s score is a poignant addition to an already elegant narrative – another complementing technique. One scene in particular (no spoilers), involves a waterfall and a song choice that is so flawless it effortlessly describes the entire film’s motif. At times, it refreshes some predictable elements of the film whilst ranging from joyful to completely heart-breaking – Stevens is a master of his craft. Likewise, Stevens reminds me of Michael Stuhlbarg’s character of Elio’s father. His performance is soulful, wise, and utterly engaging – deserving a space in the ‘Top Ten Movie Dads’.
Call Me By Your Name is a colorful and important narrative. For all of its perfections, the film does suffer from minor pacing issues throughout, and a second act that drags quite heavily towards the end. I was also expecting the film to affect me more emotionally than it did (my fault, not the film’s) which others have experienced. Nevertheless, it is rewarding for the completely sublime storytelling in play which is ultimately revolutionary in terms of the romance genre – future films should learn from Call Me By Your Name’s successes. Expect to see plenty of nominations for the cast and crew who have injected so much passion and creativity into this film which has set a new standard for filmmakers.