Call Me by Your Name is a coming-of-age drama directed by Luca Guadagnino and written by James Ivory and based on the 2007 novel of the same name by André Aciman. Call Me by Your Name chronicles the romantic relationship between a 17 year old Jewish-American Italian boy and a 24 year old Jewish-American graduate student who meet and start a romance in Italy. At face value, I got very little from this movie but am certain many others found it very informative and touching.
Call Me By Your Name opens in Italy, 1983 at the family home of the Perlman’s. 17 year old Elio, (Timothée Chalamet) lives in the northern Italian countryside with his parents. His father (Michael Stuhlbarg), a professor of archaeology, invites a 24-year-old Oliver (Armie Hammer), to live with his family during the summer to help with his academic paperwork. Elio, an introspective bibliophile and musical prodigy, finds little in common with Oliver’s carefree and exuberant personality and also resents vacating his bedroom for the duration of Oliver’s stay. Elio spends much of the summer reading books and hanging out with his girlfriend, Marzia (Esther Garrel), while Oliver is attracted to one of the local girls, much to Elio’s chagrin.
Elio and Oliver begin to spend time with each other, and a seductive courtship emerges—they swim together, go for long walks in the town, and accompany Elio’s father on an archaeological trip. Although Elio begins a sexual relationship with Marzia and brags about it in front of Oliver to gauge his reaction, he increasingly finds himself attracted to Oliver. During a trip to the post office, Elio subtly confesses his feelings to Oliver, who gently tells him that he should not act on them. Later that day, Elio and Oliver kiss, though Oliver is reluctant to go further but the two manage to cultivate a full blown affair.
With the end of Oliver’s stay imminent, the couple find themselves overcome by uncertainty and longing. Elio’s parents, conscious of the bond between the two, recommend they take a trip to Bergamo together before Oliver goes back to America. They spend three romantic days together, after which Oliver leaves, and a heartbroken Elio returns home.
Call Me By Your Name is truly a love story. While I’ve left out most of the details of their relationship, I’ve tried to reveal the innocence and relevance of the relationship. You will have to see this coming of age film to really understand the entire meaning of the story. While I didn’t find it to be the greatest, you might feel differently. I felt it took a long road to get to the point.
[Call Me By Your Name is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Actor, Adapted Screenplay and Original Song]