Seldom does a movie so exquisitely transcend the medium of film and transform into a portal in time for audience members to experience the characters’ breaths and heartbeats in sync with their own. “Call Me By Your Name” is a love story that demonstrates love and heartbreak as universal human experiences not limited by gender, culture or time. It is a rich multilayered masterpiece punctuated by sweet laughter that is the icing on a cake of resurrected memory and surfacing emotional intensity.
Timothée Chalamet’s Oscar loss is a testament to the Academy’s backroom political shenanigans. If the Academy actually based its decision solely on acting then he deserved the Oscar. Period. His emotional accessibility, vulnerability and sizzling chemistry with costar Armie Hammer set new standards of authenticity and spontaneity. His character, Elio, takes the audience on an intimate emotional rollercoaster ride that is contagious, dynamic, and at times gutting. His final scene in front of the fire is riveting and haunting. It sticks with you like a memory suspended in time.
Armie Hammer’s depiction of the conflicted Oliver, Elio’s love interest, is a case study of cognitive dissonance and emotional repression. His inner turmoil is deftly camouflaged by coolness and confidence with cracks hinting at his humanity. His is not an easy role for any actor yet his wise and thoughtful choices make Oliver less a character portrayal and more a revelation of what an opening heart and true intimacy look and feel like.
Michael Stuhlbarg’s devastating performance as Elio’s father redefines fatherhood and unconditional love for the ages. His powerful end monologue will live on as one of the greatest scenes in movie history. I dare you to try and forget it.
The impeccable acting and single-camera setup deceive us into thinking that we are actually in the movie. It is a mesmerizing model of immersion and more of a visitation than a movie. The film does not end with the closing credits. It plants fertile seeds of greater compassion, understanding, and love that take root in one’s consciousness for life.
Director Luca Gaudagnino’s intoxicating visual opulence and scintillating sensory magic leave us inspired by the organic technicolor beauty that abounds, including inside of us, if we were only to look. This film compels us to look profoundly through the prismatic lens of pure love at each meticulously executed and lusciously crafted scene. Thus “Call Me By Your Name” is a work of fine art that leaves the world a better place and spiritually enriched with a gushing waterfall of amore in all forms.