Out of all of the 2018 Awards contenders — “Call Me By Your Name” has been on a lot of people’s radar due to its craftsmanship in story, acting, directing, writing and more in being a overall best picture. I had pretty high expectations after last year’s winning film “Moonlight” covered an adjacent similar topic of a homosexual coming of age romance. Though these two films are completely different there is a bit of repetition between the subjects that may cause this film not to win all of the awards. This film is based off of the award winning book of the same name. I can’t speak of its authenticity of its adaptation but I did feel that this was a book to film adaptation while watching it. The way the film takes its time felt very similar to how you read how characters evolve in a book — slowly and with purposeful development.
The acting is the strongest thing in my opinion. Timothée Chalamet hands down is one of the best actors of the year with this role. He has such strong complexity while being both very aggressive and compassionate with his chemistry with Armie Hammer. There is such strong emotional range with his performance that you can understand his point of view from beginning to end. Armie Hammer felt like more of a supporting character than he should be. I never really felt like he loved Elio. It always felt one way. There was something missing in this film that made me care about the relationship beyond it being a 6 week fling in Italy.
Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.
Some of my other negatives go into that the time period is based in 1983 at the early stages of the AIDS epidemic and this story doesn’t really reflect that or put a spotlight on what happened then. The story is pretty self contained to just focus on them as characters in Italy but it never felt like we were in the 80s. I wish there had been more of a consequence to either character at the end than just an emotional one to have a more meaningful impact.
I highly do recommend people see this film if they are cinephiles, or people who like fresh original stories. This is a great LGBTQ film to push forward in the progressive nature for more accurate representation. The directing is great, the pacing is fantastic and the production design on creating the Italy atmosphere was pretty spot on. I would say if you’re casually interested to catch it on Netflix, Prime, or Hulu – wherever it may end up in streaming. Definitely one of the best pictures but it didn’t blow me away compared to other films this year.