“Call Me By Your Name” is easily my favorite movie of all time and it was released less than a year ago. If you don’t know what film I am talking about then you are probably apart of the majority. This film is really only known by those who pay close attention to the film world in general. It sparked buzz for being a love story between male star crossed lovers. The film’s formula is standard. It follows the romantic drama set up and it plays out how you would think.
What sells this film for being the best movie of 2017 is its relevance, its actors, and its quality of filmmaking. Director, Luca Guadagnino, pays such close attention to detail that it’s easy to lose the details in the vastness of his cinematography. Everything from the color schemes of the character’s clothes, to the exposure of certain scenes, allows the characters and their emotions to be the center of attention.
Nuanced cinematography is my type of filmmaking and it is everywhere throughout this movie. Whether it was a fly entering the shot and letting it be, wide shots that stayed wide for longer than they needed or close ups that were extra close, Guadagnino was deliberate in his choices and it created an entire mood for the film.
Actors Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer were incredible in their roles. Chalamet plays a teenage boy who falls in love with Hammer’s character who is six years his senior. The entire film tone and point of view is seen from Elio’s emotional well-being. Everything Chalamet does is taken with such care. His character is shy, quiet, and insightful. Nothing he does is ever over dramatic but done beautifully. Chalamet was also nominated for an Oscar for his role in this film, one of the youngest in his category.
Armie Hammer doesn’t disappoint either. Playing the hard-to-get older man who has a good heart, he portrays his American demeanor of being overbearing and obsessed with himself. It doesn't help that his character is incredibly intelligent and lives next door to Chalamet’s character. Similar to Chalamet, Hammer’s performance does his character justice, and it is the perfect balance of standoffish and sweet.
The last thing about this film is its relevance. While it is not the first film to showcase a gay love story, Call Me By Your Name showcases a gay love story, in a way that is real and visceral. It is absolutely over sexualized, vulnerable, painful, and erotic, because teenage love is all those things combined. The story of Elio and Oliver hits you in your stomach and reminds you of what love and loss feels like. It reminds you that love, is love, and it transcends an age gap, cultural differences or gender. This film is easily the best film of this era. Do some research before you watch, but take the time and watch it. You won’t regret it.