Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Call Me By Your Name is available to rent or buy now.

Written by André Aciman and set during the summer of 1983 in Northern Italy, Call Me By Your Name revolves around the intense and transformative relationship between seventeen-year-old Elio Perlman and twenty-four-year-old graduate Oliver.

Love, desire, and self-discovery sit at the heart of Aciman’s journey, the narrative infused with longing and teenage dreams as we are immersed in the warmth of the Italian sun and the deep yet fleeting connection between Elio and Oliver. Aciman would skillfully navigate the complexities of Elio and Oliver’s relationship, capturing the exhilaration and vulnerability of their clandestine romance by exploring the fluidity of adolescent desire and the emotional heat of first gay love. Call Me By Your Name was also a novel rich in place, as it painted a vivid portrait of Italy in the 1980s, surrounding Elio and Oliver with the sensuality and beauty of the Italian countryside, food, and culture.

call me by your name

Luca Guadagnino’s 2017 adaptation dutifully honoured Aciman’s novel, taking the words on the page and transforming them into a visually stunning and emotionally resonant masterpiece. Like the novel, Call Me By Your Name plays with themes of memory, desire, place and emerging sexuality as Guadagnino bathes Elio and Oliver’s journey in the dream-like colours of nature. In Guadagnino’s luscious garden of teenage longing, fruits, food, and foliage are combined with growing human sexuality and love as we relive our most tender experiences through Elio’s eyes. Here the powerful but dangerous sparks of sex and passion speak to all of us who kept our sexuality hidden during youth through a veil of excitement, heat, and internal longing. Combine this with Timothée Chalamet’s captivating performance as Elio, and you have a modern masterpiece. 

Chalamet’s performance is wrapped in emerging self-identity, emotion, desire, jealousy and excitement. Here Chalamet brings Elio to life through the innermost feelings of a boy on the verge of manhood as he embraces the delicate nature of sexual discovery and vulnerability. Youthful exuberance sits at the heart of Elio’s new Garden of Eden, and here he attempts to bury his teenage vulnerabilities as he explores Oliver and himself like an ice cube gliding across skin as it slowly melts. Elio and Oliver’s relationship is genuine, loving and profound for both men as it challenges 80s societal expectations. But despite its transformative power, like many a summer romance and many gay connections in youth, it is also fluid and fleeting. 

It is rare for a film to successfully capture a novel’s essence, but that is precisely what Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name achieves. Here exquisite performances, stunning cinematography, and an evocative soundtrack capture the complexities of our human emotions and the exciting but tricky journey of sexual discovery all gay young people endure, leaving us with one of the most stunning depictions of sexual exploration and emerging identity ever brought to the screen.


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