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“This is a movie about a family, compassion, transmission of knowledge, of being better people because someone’s otherness changes you”.
This is a quote from brilliant director Luca Guadagnino, in which sums up Call Me By Your Name in the best way possible. And in terms of the 90th academy awards, this is my pick for best movie.
Everything about this film completely inspired me. Between the magnificent cinematography, the indolent yet eternally nostalgic atmosphere created, the perfectly captured giddiness and intensity of a first love, the fluidity between all of the characters and the honest performances of the actors...it is entirely brilliant.
My favorite characteristic however, had to be the empathy the movie yields out of the audience.
The film takes place in 1983 “Somewhere in Northern Italy”, (filmed actually in Cremona, Italy) at a boy, Elio, and his family’s paradise-like villa. We are immediately introduced to the American graduate student, Oliver, coming to study under Elio’s father, an archeologist. As the story goes on, we see Elio and Oliver’s relationship go from one of butting heads and mutual intimidation to one of love, passion and risk.
Timothee Chalamet (a graduate from my high school actually!), as Elio, is spot on. He is perfectly naïve and confused, yet the whole time you somehow believe he is sure of what he wants. Chalamet was a teenager when he filmed this, and I genuinely wish to see more of that in the movie industry. There is nothing that compares to a teenager portraying a teenager onscreen. In an interview with Newsweek.com, Chalamet explains “within the context of the story this character plays all his cards and reveals his hand to the person of interest” and later adds, “There’s nothing wrong with opening up and playing your cards. In fact, sometimes it can be an attractive and beautiful thing”.
Armie Hammer, who plays Oliver, is the perfect distinctive mix of charming, enticing and even sometimes bumptious man, that is described in the 2007 novel. (Which I am currently reading).
However the brightest star of this movie is the father, actor Michael Stuhlbarg. He is probably one of the best actors I’ve seen in which I actually had to look up their name. I can’t say much without spoiling anything, but his evolution in character is remarkable and one to covet.
One important thing about this movie is that it is the first movie I’ve seen that displays a homosexual relationship but that is not about the struggles of homosexuality in society. Of course it hints on it, between the let going of hands in public and the…well I’m not going to say it (spoiler). However, you don’t think in terms of gender when you watch this, you feel like you are just watching an extrodinary love story (as it should be). In an interview with Armie Hammer for MTV News, he explained
“I think there’s a great element to this movie, where no one pays for being gay. There’s no punishment. Nobody gets sick, nobody has a wife they have to tell, there’s no family drama. It’s nothing like that, it’s just two people who expose themselves and make themselves vulnerable to someone else and that person receives and does the same…and it’s just a beautiful thing to watch happen”.
Please watch this movie if you haven’t, and let me know what you think.
Fingers crossed for tonight.
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Making noise through multiple mediums since 2001.