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|Call Me by Your Name
dir Luca Guadagnino
scr James Ivory
prd Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, Emilie Georges, Marco Morabito, Howard Rosenman, Peter Spears, Rodrigo Teixeira
with Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar, Esther Garrel, Victoire Du Bois, Vanda Capriolo, Antonio Rimoldi, Peter Spears, Andre Aciman, Elena Bucci, Marco Sgrosso
release UK 27.Oct.17, US 24.Nov.17
17/Italy Sony 2h12
Summer sun: Garrel, Chalamet and Hammer
BERLIN FILM FEST
TORONTO FILM FEST
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E
With a sunny dose of nostalgia, this drama traces a pivotal summer in a young man's life. Characters and situations are complex, challenging the viewer to share the experience. And while this may seem to be a film about sexuality, it's actually more potently an exploration of how important it is to embrace our emotions, even the ones that hurt.
It's the summer of 1983 in northern Italy, where 17-year-old Elio (Chalamet) lives with his educated, artistic parents (Stuhlbarg and Casar). Dad's summer intern this year is Oliver (Hammer), a dashing American who immediately catches the eye of Chiara (Du Bois), best friend of Elio's girlfriend Marzia (Garrel). But Elio's initial wariness about Oliver is hiding deeper feelings, which surge when he begins to suspect that Oliver feels the same way. Both are reluctant to admit this attraction, for very different reasons, so it's not easy to work out what it means.
Guadagnino directs the film with a knowing, playful eye, revealing telling details on every side while letting the actors develop earthy characters who are so realistic that they often catch us off guard due to their layered messiness. They're likeable and curiously observant, but caught up in their own perspectives, which makes it difficult to properly connect. Meanwhile, Ivory's screenplay is tantalisingly elusive, teasing us with dialog that hints at thoughts and feelings that are impossible to express.
The cast is well up to the task, bringing these people to life without any actorly touches. Hammer has an easy charm that wins everyone over despite being such an over-confident American. Chalamet is bursting with personality as a gifted young man who is still working out who he is. Together they bring out delicate layers of vulnerability in each other, both in their interaction and how they then face their friends and family. Of the supporting cast, Stuhlbarg gets one particularly strong scene at the end, and plays it beautifully.
Everyone in this film feels like someone who is living their own life off-screen. These are such remarkably authentic people that they're impossible to pigeonhole in any way, and Guadagnino sets everything in a picturesque location that adds vividly to the sense that we're watching an artist remembering a key moment from his youth. But it's the quiet lessons hidden in the dialog that linger, reminding us to embrace both love and longing.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S
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© 2017 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
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