‘Call Me By Your Name’ Review

CMBYNCall Me by Your Name is a coming-of-age drama film directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by James Ivory. The film stars Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, and Victoire Du Bois. Based on the 2007 André Aciman novel of the same name, Call Me by Your Name accounts the blooming romantic relationship between Elio, a 17-year-old boy, and Oliver, his father’s 24-year-old assistant, during his stay at their countryside estate in Northern Italy throughout the summer of 1983. Luca Guadagnino does a fine job directing the film. The world feels very lived in and real as opposed to one made up for a film which gives the audience an in-depth feel for the Italian lifestyle. The style in which Guadagnino directs dances on the border between a film and a documentary. There are nice long takes that focus more on the environment than the characters and it works to bring the viewer into the setting. In addition, it enhances the coming-of-age storyline in that you can easily put yourself in some of the characters’ mindsets. Timothée Chalamet turns in a decent performance as Elio Perlman. Elio is an introverted bibliophile and musical prodigy. He spends much of the summer sleeping, reading books, swimming with his friends, and hanging out with his girlfriend, Marzia. Chalamet plays the role very well by keeping much of his dialogue quiet and meek. Very rarely does the character express a more exorbitant tone. Armie Hammer also turns in a decent performance as Oliver. At first, Oliver finds little in common with Elio due to their age difference and contrasting personalities, but eventually, he warms up to him. Hammer portrays Oliver as carefree and exuberant while also refined and cultured. Michael Stuhlbarg turns in a terrific albeit minor performance as Elio’s father. The connection he has with his son is truly loving and Stuhlbarg delivers his lines in such a moving and emotional way that is very believable. Michael Stuhlbarg does well in the minor supporting roles, having appeared in two other Best Picture nominations this year. The film does have some drawbacks including editing and pacing. The film starts off slowly and continues to move at a snail’s pace throughout which makes it feel boring, uneventful, long, and drawn out without building any tension or suspense. Therefore, some of the moments that are supposed to have the most emotional impact fall flat, with a couple exceptions. Also, the chemistry between Chalamet and Hammer did not work for me. The relationship between them felt forced and unproven. At no point in the film is it believable that these two are in love or in a relationship because their interactions never grew past what would be considered an acquaintance. I give Call Me by Your Name a Normal 5.2/10. The film succeeds as a coming-of-age story but falls short as a love story.

Leave a Reply