Call Me by Your Name (2017)
December 16, 2017 7:24 PM - Subscribe

Elio Perlman is spending the summer of 1983 with his family at their vacation home in Italy. When his father hires a handsome doctoral student, the curious 17-year-old finds himself developing a growing attraction to the young man.

Starring Timothée Chalamet as Elio and Armie Hammer as Oliver.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino ("I Am Love," "A Bigger Splash")

Screenplay by James Ivory, from the novel by André Aciman.

Interview with Sufjan Stevens about writing two new songs for the film

A.V. Club: "There aren’t many summer love stories as rapturously bittersweet as Call Me By Your Name"

New York Times: "In one alive, vulnerable and life-altering summer, Elio’s desire finds its purpose. He loves, and in loving, he becomes."
posted by dnash (15 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I first heard about this way back in January when it got praised in some cinema blogs after the Sundance film festival. I've grown frustrated as the months have gone by as most of the LGBT news and culture blogs I follow have mentioned it again and again and again, and the critical praise has mounted. So for sure I went in with a lot of anticipation - though I have not read the novel, nor had I even heard of it before this.

It's beautiful, for starters. All that lush Italian scenery, the idyllic, languid summer life lounging around a creaky old villa jammed with gorgeous books and antique furniture. The back and forth between Elio and Oliver, knowing from the plot descriptions and stuff frequently mentioned in blogs that they would but trying to just enjoy how it plays out.

And it's all lovely and so forth, but yet in the back of my mind I'm a little bit thinking "ok, this is all quite touching but I'm looking for something to put this all together, to make it mean something somehow...." And then Elio comes back from the trip, sits down with his father.... and his father gives that long speech...

And I'm destroyed. DESTROYED. I guess it's the "gay man of a certain age" reflecting on his youth and imagining if he'd been able to hear those words from his father when he needed them. And then that end credits sequence, sitting there watching the shifting emotions play across Chalamet's face...right towards the end his lips start to curl towards a smile as he pushes past the hurt and the amazing.
posted by dnash at 8:02 PM on December 16, 2017 [6 favorites]

Quite a fuckin' film, this one. I'd be interested to see what James Ivory would have made of this, had he gotten to direct his own script, but Guadagnino does a fine job getting the absolute most from Hammer and especially Chalamet, who is walking tightropes in every other scene to convey that awkward teeter-totter between boyhood and manhood. A mite sexist, both in its reductionist treatment of just about every female character as well as its apparently staunch belief that men should be exempt from the frontal nudity that's expected of most any woman appearing in a film like this, but of course it was ever thus.

Totally psyched that this guy is directing the Suspiria remake, and with a phenomenal cast. Can't wait to see what happens there.
posted by Mothlight at 12:29 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I hear you on the frontal nudity, but... there's a scene where Hammer wipes semen off his chest. Which is its own level of boundary-pushing. In addition to the peach scene. So it's still very frank about sex in ways that are surprising and rare for cinema. I guess I'm ok with that, on balance.
posted by dnash at 3:26 PM on December 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I saw this movie almost a week ago and haven't been able to stop thinking about it. This was very special.
posted by kms at 3:40 AM on January 6, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you're so inclined, whether you've seen the movie or not, read the book. I give the movie high praise for its almost inerrant fidelity to the text, its love of language and music, its quiet scenes that conceal an unending flurry of internal thought and deliberation, observation and reflection. And there's a bonus for those of you who loved the movie as much as I did: about a quarter of the book carries on after the movie leaves off. The last scene is about 20 years after the movie's summer. I saw the movie before I read the book, and I'm happy for it--to dip into those later years is to amplify the point where the movie leaves us. It is not a trite coda. It's almost another movie.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 1:12 PM on January 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

I saw this last night, as it finally got to theaters here in bleakest Indiana, and I really loved this. As late afternoon dreaming hotel says, though, read the book, especially for that last scene. I prefer the book overall (although as I said, the movie is very good!), but I did prefer the peach scene in the movie. (I appreciate the symbolism, but the idea of eating any kind of fruit with bodily fluids on it grosses me out in a visceral way, and the movie was a liiiiittle more subtle.)

The Sufjan Stevens songs were a little too much for me (good songs, but they felt a little intrusive). Marzia offering her hand to Elio at the end, telling him that she's not upset? Oof. She's a better person than me.

I'm very glad Chalamet and Hammer were cast in this; they were both amazing.
posted by minsies at 5:42 AM on January 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

I just watched this movie and was totally blown away. The cinematography was out out of this world. The concepts were out of this world. I loved this movie so much. My partner and I had a big argument about grooming and actual love that still isn't resolved even with the denouement but that's okay.
I vacillated between disgust and warmth for both the parents and the child as well as the visitor. In the end I had empathy for all involved.
That final sequence with Elio was overwhelming,
posted by unliteral at 4:53 AM on February 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

I really liked this.

Odd question though - there's a very brief sequence towards the end, when they're at the hotel on their last night together, and Elio's asleep - and suddenly we see a couple seconds of this weird footage where it's color-filtered to be all red and yellow, and then it goes back to Elio asleep. That was supposed to be a dream, right?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:14 AM on March 2, 2018

This is beautifully shot, with subtle and confident direction, a sharp screenplay and terrific acting. It's a moving story taking place in a sphere of sexuality that is commonly ignored or minimized.

All of that is true. And yet, it drove me up a wall, because these are some of the bougiest motherfuckers that ever bougied their bougieness into Bougietown. It's 132 minutes of idle rich people who do shit like use "summer" as a verb. And--not for nothing--it's also a love story between a 30-ish adult human and a 17 year-old. And let's face it, if the seventeen year-old was a precocious girl instead of a precocious boy, the grar here would take hours to click through.

I get why y'all like it, and there is much to admire here. But I'm a surly, class-conscious person who hates rich people and I had trouble getting past that, particularly for a relationship with a dodgy age dynamic.

I am fully aware that my own hangups on wealth/class combined with my privileged position as a hetero person who sees love stories I can identify with all the time colors my perspective. I don't begrudge anyone their joy here, but it did not work for me in the same way.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 4:07 PM on March 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

This doesn't touch on the money thing, DirtyOldTown, but Oliver is (in the book at least; Hammer of course looks and is older) 24.
posted by minsies at 6:26 PM on March 4, 2018

I really did like the film and I thought the last twenty minutes in particular were magical. But the class stuff and the age gap stuck in my craw. I probably overstated that a bit because I was shocked to see those aspects get little to no discussion here. But I regret that I probably came off as hating the film when I thought it was great but with reservations.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:47 PM on March 4, 2018

No, those are fair points. I think for me, they were overshadowed by how perfectly the film captured what summer felt like when you were seventeen in the 80s - you were itching to get out under the thumb of your parents but you weren't QUITE there yet, but you were old enough that your parents expected you to entertain yourself and left you alone, and there wasn't that much else to do but be horny and a little bored, but at the same time feeling vibrant and young and digging how you can wear clothes that show off how cute you are, and digging that so can everyone else, and at the same time as that boredom you feel freedom to just lay around doing not much of anything because you may be wanting to get away from your parents but you also appreciate that them taking care of you means you don't have to worry about any of that job shit....and then in the middle of all of that you actually fall in Love-with-a-capital-L for the first time, with someone you totally were not expecting to, and that knocks sideways the already precarious person you are.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:11 PM on March 4, 2018

How annoyed do you think the filmmakers were that the best shot of that AMAZING last scene Elio had a fly crawling on his arm?
posted by Grandysaur at 1:17 AM on June 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

I didn't enjoy this one. Oliver's entire character rubbed me the wrong way, and the age difference between him and Elio appalled me -- it just looked wrong, and I kept wondering what could be wrong with Oliver that he could even be attracted to such a kid. They really should have cast a 24-year-old to play Oliver, instead of a 31-year-old.
posted by orange swan at 10:07 PM on April 7, 2019

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