Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” an Instant Emotional Classic

Gay Romance Film Makes Waves in Hollywood Community

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Veronica Iredale, Staff Writer


DISCLAIMER: This film is rated R, and this review includes spoilers for the film.

It isn’t often that an independent film touches audiences so much that it and its lead actor get nominated for several Academy Awards upon release. However, Luca Guadagnino’s masterpiece Call Me By Your Name has done just that. The dynamic and relatable characters Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) journey through young adult life and love amid the aesthetic backdrop of 1983 Northern Italy…all the while drinking apricot juice, swimming in fountains, kissing under the peach trees, and playing variations of Bach on the piano and guitar.

Hollywood has gotten a bad rap as of late because of many scandals…some of which including Kevin Spacey’s allegations, Ben and Casey Affleck’s sexual assault accusations, of course the infamous Harvey Weinstein crimes, and the amazing work of the #MeToo movement that has brought so many sexual crimes to light. The film industry has also been known to adhere to clichés and stereotypes like no other industry today…however, Call Me By Your Name may be a sign that Hollywood is changing for the better. Guadagnino’s work of art carefully navigates the cliché minefield that other directors have considerately left behind. For example, 17-year-old Elio’s parents could be the poster models for what parenting ought to be. They are overwhelmingly accepting and supportive of Elio no matter what he chooses to do, or what he is going through. Neither of the characters are labeled as damaged or broken, and the personalities match the peaceful yellow and green Italy that is almost like a character in itself, with dynamic rolling hills, bubbling and tumbling rivers and creeks that Oliver and Elio explore on vintage bicycles, a peach and cigarette in hand.

Though more of a mature film than other recent pieces with gay leads, such as Love, Simon, Guadagnino’s movie still manages a light and playful motif. When Elio meets Oliver, the romantic film is off to an entertaining, but slow-ish start. Chalamet and Hammer dodge each other flirtatiously, teasing the audience. Both almost refuse to acknowledge the tension between them until they’re sitting alone in a grassy field, and Oliver kisses Elio for the first time.

Call Me By Your Name presents many Oscar worthy performances, and Hammer and Chalamet’s acting is enough to secure this film a place on the shelf reserved for classics, one that I’m sure not many of us will forget. With a heart wrenching ending that leaves the audience in tears, the last shot of the film shows Elio, after about a year since Oliver had returned to America, who has just learned that Oliver is engaged to another after all that time apart, and that his lover hadn’t waited for him.

Chalamet leaves us with a gut wrenching, teary eyed stare into the fireplace, trying to contain himself after learning the news. The film concludes with Elio’s mother saying his name softly, calling him to dinner, and he doesn’t bother to wipe away his tears as he turns away and the screen darkens, and the credits continue to roll.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend this film to any young adult who appreciates art, music, and phenomenal acting by everyone involved. Not to mention the stellar soundtrack and instrumentals by musical genius: Sufjan Stevens. Guadagnino’s film is one for the ages, with a timely and bittersweet work of art that will resonate for a very, very long time to come.