Call Me By Your Name is available to rent or buy now.
Faithfully adapted from Andre Aciman’s 2017 novel of the same name, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name is not only one of the finest coming of age films of a generation but one of the most important in LGBTQ+ cinema. But how did a small budget film with a relatively unknown young lead actor so firmly embed itself in the public consciousness? The answer to this question is multi-layered, but in part, it sits within Call Me By Your Name’s ability to transcend genre boundaries. Here Call me By Your Name dovetails its rich portrait of young gay love, desire and infatuation with a more traditional European coming of age picture. As a result, Call Me By Your Name speaks to us all regardless of our sexuality or gender.
Set in Northern Italy during the early 1980s, Call Me By Your Name plays with themes of memory, desire and first love in both its cinematography and narrative. Here, Guadagnino bathes Elio’s story in an ocean of dream-like greens, blues and yellows. In Guadagnino’s garden, the colours of nature and imagination collide with the intensity of early sexuality and desire. Here his movie plays out like a sensual yet equally painful memory – the emotions of first love exposed as we relive our tender experiences of teenage desire through Elio’s eyes. These initial sparks of sexuality that gave flight to our adult journey in all its excitement, heat, and pain shine onscreen through Chalamet’s stunning performance. This dreamy aesthetic is surrounded by the forbidden yet ripe fruits of nature in a symbolic garden of Eden for Elio’s innermost desires.
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Guadagnino’s film taps into the teenager that still dwells in our subconscious. The experiences that formed us all as adults brought to the surface of our memories over the course of two hours. Here Guadagnino’s delicate tapestry of memory and desire explores the complexity of the emotions and actions surrounding teenage passion and discovery. However, while some films choose to paint a picture of innocence and naivety during our first sexual encounters, Call Me By Your Name is far more realistic in its approach to adolescent desire. Here, teenage lust’s sheer intensity is wrapped in jealousy, calculated passion and vulnerability. This detailed portrait undoubtedly offers us one of the most complex coming-of-age pictures of the past twenty years; however, it would not have been possible without the performance of one Timothee Chalamet.
Chalamet’s outstanding performance is wrapped in the emotion, frustration and excitement of emerging self-identity – each look, action and interaction layered with youthful charm, insecurity and urgent sexual desire. Here Chalamet brings Elio to life on screen through the innermost feelings of a boy on the verge of manhood as he embraces the delicate nature of sexual discovery, jealousy and vulnerability. Chalamet’s performance isn’t just one of the most stunning depictions of sexual exploration and emerging identity brought to the screen; it’s what makes Call Me By Your Name a rare cinematic masterpiece.