Summer in the Italian countryside. Soaking up the sun in green fields. Splashing around in local swimming holes. Oh yeah, and discovering a side of your sexuality. Call Me By Your Name is a sweet and heartbreaking look at young love in the early 80s. Elio (Timothée Chalamet) is a precocious 17 year old when Oliver (Armie Hammer)comes to stay as a graduate student for his professor father. Elio tries to keep Oliver at arms length but, spoiler alert, they end up in each other’s arms.
Nothing and No One is Certain
A lot goes in to making this movie work. Chalamet is mesmerizing as he tries to cover his insecurities with confidence. His chemistry with Hammer is solid. Both their characters are trying to sort out life for the summer, and figure out how the other fits into their path.
Call Me By Your Name is VERY Italian. Set in the Italian countryside in the early eighties and directed by Luca Guadagnino, anyone who’s watched lots of Italian cinema (and really, who hasn’t) will quickly recognize the art form. The pacing is slower than Americans are used to and there are lots of outdoorsy nature shots. Lots. Just be prepared.
Given that the Academy nominates up to ten films for Best Picture it’s a good bet that Call Me By Your Name will get a nomination. Chalamet could be a contender for Best Actor. And it could be Hammertime in the Supporting Actor category.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
A romance set in Italy in the summer? Do you really need to ask?!? We’re pouring ourselves a glass of Chianti and keeping the bottle close.