Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name is one of those rare book-to-film projects that elevated the story of the source material, rather than degrade it. Based on Andre Aciman’s 2007 novel of the same name, this film takes simplicity and turns it into perfection. It’s no surprise that it bagged a number of film award nomination, several of these are Oscar nominations.
The film gave justice to the book by not straying far from the events and messages in the novel; even the dialogue is as close as it can get to the book. The story is set in 1983, where a handsome doctoral student, Oliver (Armie Hammer), travels to Lombardy, Italy, for his internship with archeology professor, Samuel Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg). Oliver meets the professor’s son, Elio (Timothee Chamalet), and from there, the love between the two the blossoms into something we can all relate to.
Call Me By Your Name is basically a coming-of-age film that succeeds in replicating the emotional depth of real love; it’s not just another melancholy-drenched movie. Despite the very adult themes that the film has, it still maintained its purity by not letting its sexual scenes be a distraction. Director Luca Guadagnino executed the scenes taste and poise. These scenes intensified the affair of the characters, making fully invest in their smiles and cries.
The two lead actors, Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer, both deserve a round of applause for their sincere performance. The chemistry between the two was seamless and natural. There was nothing forced about their actions. There were moments in the film where the dialogue was different, but the two actors’ actions were saying something different. It’s one of the things that made the film interesting to watch.
Playing Elio’s libertarian-like father, Michael Stuhlbarg, should also be praised for giving a playful and vibrant element to the film with his character. Of course, we shouldn’t leave out James Ivory for writing a stunning screenplay. If not for him, these actors wouldn’t have any idea on how they should play their part. The film’s Best Adapted Screenplay nomination at the 90th Academy Awards proves our point.
Lastly, to put it in today’s terms, this film had such classy aesthetics. Guadagnino utilized the scenery of Italy to add a sense of adventure to the story. It’s Italy. How can that NOT be romantic? It was clear that Guadagnino was going for a summery vibe to accentuate the warmth of the characters towards each other, and yet he also used the exact opposite when things were going down the drain, which was in the last part of the movie, but that’s all we’ll say about that.
This film has all the makings of a Best Picture awardee at the Oscars. Although it does have a few dragging parts here and there, the finale and overall execution are the aspects that made it truly worthy of 5/5 movie stars. It’s sincere and tasteful.