Call Me By Your Name (2017)

  • Timothée Chalamet (Elio) knocked this movie out of the fucking park. Armie Hammer (Oliver) was pretty great, and Michael Stuhlbarg (Mr. Perlman, Elio’s father) was stellar, too – but wow, did Timothée Chalamet knock it out of the park.
  • I’m not sure whose idea it was to close the movie the way they did – it gives nothing away to say that it ends with Elio staring into/past a fire, with the camera focused solely on his face, for several minutes – but it was a brilliant call…only because TC was able to deliver. Focus on a less capable actor, in that moment, plot-wise and stay there unflinchingly – and you have an interest-losing, failure of a closing, full of discomfort. With Chalamet there, doing what he does, though – wow. It’s really something great, and it sticks with you.
  • I understand that this was based on a book (which I haven’t read) – but I was very impressed with the script – and the delivery of the script, in that it incorporated so many different languages: English, Italian, & French (that I recall) – which is another impressive aspect of Chalamet’s performance.
  • There’s this scene right after Oliver arrives at the Perlmans’, where the Professor subtly tests him on the origins of the word apricot. That scene reminded me a lot of a scene Aaron Sorkin might write. It was very Jed Bartlet-ish.
  • Again, knowing that a lot of this came from the source novel – I think this movie did a phenomenal job at building a believably powerful romance. Real love stories are based on the tiny moments – potentially moments of conflict – that really don’t seem to matter…and yet somehow, they do. A lot of movies rush to create epic moments of grandeur to illustrate a memorable tale of love, and don’t take the time to include those tiny details – and as a result, I often don’t totally buy the romance, as quickly as the movie wants me to. There is no mistaking this love story, though – because it is patiently & carefully built, and we have access to all of those insignificant moments that only matter to the people in love, which is how it happens in real life (or, you know – so I have found).
  • I loved the ‘antique statue being pulled from the ocean’ scene – which occurs long before Elio & Oliver get together, romantically. The handshake is cute – but the brilliant part of the scene is the way each of them (Elio & Oliver) run their fingers on the statue’s surface, right across from each other. That scene was beautifully conceived & executed by the actors.
  • I was not a fan of the Sufjan Stevens songs that appeared in several spots. Not that I disliked the actual songs, as songs, but I felt that using instrumental music of some sort in those moments would have been far more emotionally effective than the Stevens songs – so that specific lyrics would not be assigned to what was happening on screen. (Because sorry – but the depth of emotion & level of beauty the movie achieves far surpasses what any Sufjan Stevens tunes can.)
  • All of the Hammer/Chalamet scenes are fantastic, and like everyone has commented a thousand times – their chemistry is amazing. I think maybe my favorite scenes between them were the nosebleed/ice/foot massage scene & the train station goodbye scene. Those were A+.
  • As already mentioned, Stuhlbarg was fabulous as Elio’s father, especially in that one scene toward the end – you know the one – after Oliver has left & Mr. Perlman knows more than Elio thinks he does.
  • Lastly, I get the title. I didn’t, going in – and when it was first introduced in the movie, I thought it was pretty silly – but by the end…I really understood it, and no longer thought the concept was goofy.
  • Anyhow…beautiful, beautiful movie.  Wholeheartedly recommend. Also: my choice for the Best Picture Oscar this year.

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