CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is one of those films where I recognize everything about it that is making it special to audiences, critics, the Academy, and it is a actual decent one time watch, I personally would never watch it again. And it’s not the gay thing at all. Even though I feel awkward in the theater watching two men fall in love with more explicit sexual scenes than Brokeback Mountain had to offer, that’s not and will never be a reason why I personally hate or don’t care for a film. Like the Seinfeld episode, “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” In fact the films paints a perfect picture between the love between two men in Italy in the 1980s. The dialogue and situations of the sexual frustrations between the two feel real and the film takes its time to develop them, much more than Brokeback Mountain ever did. And the movie has one of the most memorable finale dialogues I have ever heard. It’s just one of those films I don’t have any interest in ever watching again. You know what I’m talking about.
It’s not a meh film, or even a bleh film, it’s a “yeah that was interesting, ok, on to the next Oscar contender film!” The acting in this is incredible. Timothy Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and Michael Stuhlberg are all incredible in this film, especially Stuhlberg and his final dialogue while talking to his son on the couch at the end of the film. Also, the film captures the 80s and I assume it captures Italy at that time well (I’ve never been). The cinematography is actually quite beautiful and I thought it was interesting how director Luca Guadagnino filmed most of the movie with the camera wait high looking up at the actors. It worked and kept my attention throughout the entire thing.
The movie is about an American student (played by Armie Hammer) that stays with his professor and his family in Italy in 1982. Him and the 17 year old son (played by Timothy Chalamet) form a bond that turns out to be more than friendship. It explores this sexual angst to perfection. The film also hits the message really well how America didn’t tolerate homosexuality at the time (and lets face it, for some individuals, it never will), without hammering that message on the head. It was subtle, yet not too subtle for the viewer to not understand why some of the characters act and do some of the things that they do. The movie is about ten to fifteen minutes to long, a trip between the two boys feels sort of rushed and more of an after thought to add onto the film, when something else could’ve taken its place and been more needed. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. Their trip just feels choppy, choppy enough to have been almost cut completely.
But the film takes its time to establish the bond between the two men, and it does it masterfully well. More so than Brokeback Mountain, which I always felt their bond was a little forced to move the plot along. Just a word of warning, while this film is a lovely film about homosexual love, it is pretty specific with some of its scenes, and earns its R rating. I’m not saying to not see it if gay stuff bothers you, I’m saying you might want to watch out maybe seeing it with your entire family to not have an awkward drive home. More of a date or couple or lover film.
So this film is good and I am giving it a recommendation. A good recommendation. I just personally won’t watch it again, because I don’t need to. I got everything in one sitting and I don’t know if I would forget the film enough to deserve another. The film is worth seeing for the end speech by the boy’s father alone, and is the reason why Michael Stohlberg might get a nomination for that one scene alone. It is pretty powerful. This movie is for all mature adults out there looking for a good artsy fartsy film. It’s better than Brokeback Mountain, which I always thought was overrated.