Luca Guadagnino’s coming-of-age tale Call Me By Your Name set in 1983, Italy, brings a curious relationship between seventeen-year-old Elio and his father’s twenty-four-year-old archeology assistant, Oliver, to the screen, filling viewers with a type of love that’s both electrifying and melancholic. Call Me By Your Name illustrates the all-consuming nature of first love and the struggles of being gay in the early 80s. Full of vivid scenes of Italian landscapes and sounds of the countryside, Guadagnino allows viewers to not only see the world that these characters live in but creates an almost nostalgic vibe that is special to Guadagnino’s films. Told in snapshots, the slow-burn style of filming glides viewers through their summer full of firsts.
The film begins with Oliver’s arrival to Elio’s family home. While awkward at first, both Elio and Oliver quickly become accustomed to each other and subtle feelings begin to shed light. Between Elio’s girlfriend and Oliver’s hesitance, however, their relationship develops painfully slowly. After Elio confesses his attraction one afternoon and the two share a kiss, his father’s intern retreats. What follows is a compilation of moments which make the summer seem infinitely long, yet remind both the characters and the viewers of the impending end. Elio and Oliver know that summer must come to a close, and with that, their relationship as well.
Many reviews have focused on the complicated nature of Elio and Oliver’s relationship––that being the seven-year age gap between the two––but have yet to factor in the cultural differences that the location of the movie being in brings into play. The age of consent in Italy is fourteen, making Elio a legal adult by a few years. In America, however, the age of consent is eighteen. This led to quite a bit of struggle among viewers, myself included. However, the relationship is supported through subtle hints by Elio’s parents, and it is clear that the feelings shared between both boys are honest. The focus of the movie should not be on the age gap, but on the content of the movie itself: a story of two young and naive individuals as they fall in love. Call Me By Your Name can be found on Amazon Prime, Google Play, Youtube,Vudud and Starz for between $12.99 and $13.99. It is worth every penny.
Emmy Award nominee Timothee Chalamet perfectly captures the fragility of a teenager who struggles to come to terms with a type of love he’s never felt before. He gives a performance that allows people to relate to the type of love he feels, regardless of their gender or sexuality. Paired with esteemed actor Armie Hammer, the two deliver a powerful message of what it means to be in love. Having earned a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, there is no denying that the film deserved all 35 nominations and its eleven awards. Call Me by Your Name should be savored in its entirety and the love it contains admired in all its heart-skipping delicacy.