Call Me by Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino, is not a gay film. Call Me by Your Name is a beautiful, passionate film about two lovers who are gifted with the experience of falling in love in Lombardy, Italy during the 1980s.
Taking into account the breathtaking setting, cinematography and soundtrack, which features two angelic tracks from Sufjan Stevens, the movie as a whole can be described as graceful, elegant and authentic.
The moment doctoral student Oliver—played by Armie Hammer—steps foot into the Perlman family’s Lombardy vacation home as a summer intern for Mr. Perlman—played by Michael Stuhlbarg—son Elio Perlman—played by Timothée Chalamet—is awakened from a seemingly lifelong suppression of not only his emotions, but of his true self.
As Oliver and Elio discover more and more about each other, they learn even more about themselves. One of the major points expressed in this film is how precious and rare the feelings of love and heartbreak are. Mr. Perlman mentions that Elio should hold on to the feelings Oliver led him to encounter, both good and bad, because emotions that strong may only come around once in a person’s life.
In summary, passion for another person is truly an art, just like the film itself.
The overall brilliance of the film comes from several factors, specifically the acting. Both Chalamet and Hammer dive headfirst into their characters, allowing the audience to feel the passion present on the screen for themselves.
This was definitely Chalamet’s breakout film, considering he was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Leading Actor in a Drama this year, despite also being featured in the Golden Globe nominated film Lady Bird.
As for Hammer, his acting has strung him to new depths, performing in a territory contrary to what audiences have seen him in before. It’s one thing for two straight males to pretend they love each other, but another to pretend to exhibit true sentiment for another person as part of one’s job. It’s possible some of the passion on-screen was not make believe, but in fact genuine. In order for a good actor to convey real emotion, they need to first imagine that emotion, feel it and then express it, which is exactly what Chalamet and Hammer accomplished.
One of the most attractive features about Call Me by Your Name is its authenticity. Each actor’s mannerisms and speech were simple in nature, not overdramatized or too thought out. One of the hardest components of acting is the ability to completely let go of one’s limits, boundaries and barriers, and let one’s emotions become completely exposed. This is exactly what the entire of cast of this film has achieved.u