Movie: Call Me By Your Name
My Rating: 4 stars
I had heard a lot about this film before I finally got my hands on it. Everyone who had seen it told me that it’s sexy, and sad, and beautiful. And, after having watched the movie, I’d have to say that I agree. But, what I think it the most remarkable about this movie is that it does an amazing job of conjuring up all those intense, painful, exciting emotions that every hormone-addled teen has felt when they’re taking their first steps into romantic love. Those emotions are so powerful and all-consuming. When you’re first experiencing that kind of love or infatuation for the first time, it’s all you can think about. It consumes your thoughts, but it’s also a little scary too because it’s so new. And, this movie captures the essence of those feelings very well.
This movie is about a teenage boy, Elio, who is experiencing that first intense, romantic attraction to Oliver, his father’s research assistant that is staying with their villa in Italy for the summer. Of course, the situation is even more complex and tortuous than first love already is because Elio is also coming to terms with the fact that he is attracted to men. And, this movie is set in the early 1980s, a time when being openly gay was less accepted than it is now. But, this story isn’t about how the rest of the world perceives the relationship between these two men. That context merely serves to frame the story between Oliver and Elio. The story is really told from inside the relationship. It’s very intimate, and very personal. In fact, we only get hints as to how the men feel about what everyone else thinks of them. They’re really more concerned with feeling out the boundaries between them. It really gets the blood racing.
I think this movie can be enjoyed by a pretty wide audience. Of course, there are always going to be those people that are made uncomfortable by any sexual content in a movie. And, the undercurrent of this movie really is very sexual. But, the majority of the sex is merely implied or happens off-screen. So, there’s nothing very explicit to embarrass you when watching this in mixed company. That being said, I still probably wouldn’t watch this movie with my mother. So, if you’re in the mood for a very moody, sexy, European-style love story, this is the movie for you.