Before the Golden Globes and the Oscars, I was racing around trying to see as many of the nominated films as possible. I did make it to several, but I missed Call Me By Your Name while it was still in the theater. Thanks to the magic of Amazon Prime, I was able to watch it this weekend from the comfort of my couch (in sweatpants, while eating pizza and drinking wine).
I was introduced to actor Timothée Chalamet in Lady Bird and was looking forward to seeing him in a completely different role.
In this movie, he plays a high school student on summer vacation with his parents in Italy. His father, a professor, welcomes one of his students into their home for several weeks to help with his research. That student is played by the statuesque Armie Hammer.
*SPOILER ALERT! Do not read on if you don't want to know anything about the plot of the movie.*
Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) circle around each other tentatively for quite some time before acting on their feelings. Oliver is being chased by every single girl in the town and Elio has cozied up to a childhood friend. In one of the most memorable scenes, Elio tip toes into Oliver's room, lays down on his bed, puts Oliver's swim trunks over his head and begins to take deep breaths in. We're talking a manic level of lust.
When they finally act on their mutual desires, it's as if they want to inhale each other. They can't seem to get physically close enough, constantly reaching for more.
Once they released their passion for one another, they become magnetized. They ride into town together, go swimming together, sneak into each other's rooms . . . they want to drink each other in.
As soon as Elio and Oliver's relationship really begins to develop, it seems like that's just the moment Oliver has to go back to the States. Elio experiences his first real heartbreak as he's forced to say goodbye to Oliver on the train platform. Elio is so beside himself, he calls his mother to come pick up, falling apart the moment he buckles himself into the passenger seat.
I thought the most touching scenes in the movie were between Elio and his parents. Though Elio never out right said, "I'm in love with Oliver," his parents knew and consoled him with such compassion after Oliver's departure from Italy. There is one scene toward the end, where Elio is being comforted by his father, and I just thought to myself, "I wish all parents could be this loving and kind."
There was a lot of hype around this movie. For me, it moved at a glacial pace and at times I found it hard to keep paying attention. That being said, the setting of the film is absolutely gorgeous. It feels like watching a moving postcard of the most idyllic Italian village you've ever seen. Those apricot trees!
If you've seen the movie, I would love to know, what did you think?