Film Review: Call Me By Your Name
(Sony Pictures Classics)
By Brigette Ginter
Call Me by Your Name is an artsy, beautifully shot film that slowly builds in intrigue until it completely draws you in. I thoroughly enjoyed it. That being said, I know this film would not be everyone’s cup of tea.
The film takes place in 1983, set in the gorgeous Italian countryside where the main character, Elio Perlman lives with his family in a villa (yes- a villa). Elio, played by Timothée Chalamet, is an introverted, musically gifted 17-year-old. His father is a professor that unearths ancient Roman bronzes. Elio’s mom is also an intellectual and reads aloud 17th-century fairy tales in German to the family (just to give a little glimpse into their lives).
The plot develops as Elio’s father’s Summer research assistant arrives at the villa. Oliver, played by Armie Hammer, is a tall, dashing, affable American who is set to live with the Perlmans for the Summer. Elio and Oliver do not hit it off right away, but they do bond over their Jewish American heritage and music.
Call Me by Your Name is definitely a film that would be categorized in the “coming of age” genre, however, it is very nuanced. It’s totally presented in a different way then say, Lady Bird, which is another really strong coming of age film recently released. Call Me by Your Name is centered around Elio’s coming of age, which inevitably includes the story of first love and first heartbreak. The subject of Elio’s love ends up being Oliver.
The two have an immediate, albeit complicated connection. Hammer and Chalamet are both perfectly cast, having visible chemistry. Many times the two barely even speak, at some points their communication is so cryptic and subtle it honestly confused me. But, through its cryptic subtlety, you feel their bond.
I would definitely recommend this film. It’s emotional, sensitive, and gorgeous. If you want to escape to Northern Italy for a couple hours and see some great acting, watch Call Me by Your Name.
Call Me by Your Name is playing at the Riviera Theater through January 29.