Call Me By Your Name

Date: 20/03/2018 Times: 7:30 pm - 9:40 pm

Unfortunately we couldn’t show God’s Own Country because of the snow but this was going to be the second film in a mini season of films about men falling in love with each other and is the film that the Guardian named as the Best Film of 2017.  It was a huge hit with the critics and received BAFTA  and Golden Globe nominations as Best Film of 2017 and won a BAFTA for Best Adapted Screenplay.  Its two main actors, Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer, also received Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor nominations, respectively.  It had four Oscar nominations for Best Film, Best Actor (Chalamet), Best Music and Best Adapted Screenplay and won one for the last of these.

Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman, with a screenplay by James Ivory.  It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Chalamet), a precocious 17- year-old American-Italian, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel).  Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella (Amira Casar), a translator, who favour him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights.  While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart.  One day, Oliver (Hammer), a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father.  Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.
 
Balancing the objectification of its leading men with discretion and delicacy, this is a film that acknowledges the purity and sculptural beauty of youth — Greek aesthetics, philosophy and ideals of male friendship are invoked early and often — but never at the expense of a character who, on the cusp of manhood, possesses his own agency and desires, despite their sometimes shaky parameters.  Portrayed with a note-perfect combination of cocky self-assurance and wary naiveté by Chalamet, Elio is something of an extension of the actor’s hilariously pretentious character in another acclaimed recent film, Lady Bird — another teenager with pedantic ideas about his own depth and seriousness.  But while Ivory and Guadanigno aren’t afraid to wink at Elio’s youthful lack of self-awareness, they never stoop to ridiculing it.  Like Oliver, whose own seeming shallowness masks a surprisingly observant, compassionate nature, they’re patient and indulgent with a stage of life that can seem laughable, enviable and excruciatingly painful all at the same time.
 
Call Me by Your Name finds the director marshalling the gifts he brought to I Am Love and A Bigger Splash in service to a spellbinding, almost ecstatically beautiful movie that gains even more heft and meaning in its final transcendent moments.  What had been a two-hander featuring sensitive, flawlessly judged performances by Chalamet and Hammer expands into something more. 
Call Me By Your Name

Year: 2017

Country: Italy

Cert: 15

Duration: 132 mins

Dir: Luca Guadagnino

'A sensual and transcendent tale of first love'


Venue: William Loveless Hall