Call Me By Your Name will make you feel emotions you didn't know you had.
The new coming-of-age indie film starring Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet was nominated for three Golden Globes, including Best Picture, and is receiving Oscar buzz. Based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same title by Andre Aciman published in 2007, CMBYN is a gay love story that does not play into the usual tropes regarding a first love.
The film revolves around Elio, a precocious 17-year-old vacationing in northern Italy for the summer with his family. 24-year-old Oliver, Elio’s father’s teaching assistant, joins the family and the two strike up a romance.
What makes this story so moving, aside from the striking acting and directing, is the fact that it is simply a love story. Yes, it is a gay love story that centers on a young man realizing his sexuality, but there are none of the tragic motifs associated with gay love stories. No one gets sick, no one has a wife they have to reveal their affair to and there is no strife caused by family members discovering the relationship.
For two hours, the audience is allowed to be transported to Italy in the 1980s, with no cares, and are immersed in the evolution of a first love. Not only is the story itself beautiful, but the shots, costumes and scenery are so aesthetically pleasing it is hard to look away.
Watching the two characters become progressively more comfortable with themselves and each other reminds the viewer of what it was like to fall for someone and have that desire become reality.
To add to the beauty of this charming film, the soundtrack is impeccable.
Featuring songs written by Sufjan Stevens just for CMBYN, the movie has the rare phenomenon of a soundtrack that is just as impressive as a separate entity, apart from the film.
The film’s primary song, “Mystery of Love” by Stevens perfectly represents what it means to be hopelessly devoted to another. With lyrics like, “Hold your hands upon my head / Till I breathe my last breath,” the songs only accentuate the captivating quality of the film.
It does not hurt that both of the main characters are extremely attractive in very different regards. With their ridiculous height and angular faces, Hammer and Chalamet are like two visions come to life.
The most remarkable part of Hammer’s and Chalamet’s acting abilities is how both men are straight, yet their chemistry is so palpable one would easily believe they were a couple in real life.
The sign of a good film is one which evokes both laughter and tears, which CMBYN is eager to provide. Emotions brought on by the film range from discomfort and contempt to reverence and pride, bringing the viewers along for the ride as the characters progress through the emotions as well.
One of the best aspects of Call Me By Your Name is how realistic the story’s ending is. There are no flourishes or prolonged goodbyes; the final scene is staunch and haunting, with a teary-eyed Chalamet sporting a playful smirk.
Abby Brone is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.