Hold on to your peaches — I’m kicking off my Oscars 2018 review series with my review of Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Call Me By Your Name’!
My review of this film will be the first out of the many Oscar-nominated films this year. I’ll try my best to watch and review all the films which are nominated for Best Picture, as well as those with cast and crew who are nominated, right before the 90th Academy Awards on March 4, 2018.
Call Me By Your Name is nominated in 4 categories, namely:
- Actor in a Leading Role (Timothee Chalamet)
- Adapted Screenplay
- Original Song (‘Mystery Of Love’, Sufjan Stevens)
- Best Picture
The film is an adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel of the same title, so for the fans of the book, this will surely be a treat to watch. It’s both coming-of-age and romance at the same time, and this formula is pretty basic. We’ve seen this many times before, with the only major differences being it’s setting (1980s, Northern Italy) and the kind of relationship involved in the film.
One of the greatest strengths of the film is its simplicity. What’s brilliant about the film is how it builds up the relationship between the two without spoon-feeding the audience. We get to see their friendship go stronger day by day, up until it blossoms into a deeper connection, without the use of any grand gestures. The slightest glances between the two could be worth millions of words, and thankfully, the actors pulled it off nicely.
The film also looked amazing, they made use of the ambiguous setting very nicely. It invokes a calm, relaxing vibe that’s perfect for the film as it is set in the summer. For the cinematography, the film has a somewhat nostalgic feeling, which again, is perfect for the film as it is set in the 80s. They used just the right amount of light for the audience to see only what they need to see.
Now, for the things I didn’t like. Of course, not every film is perfect, and this one is no exception. It gets a bit too tedious to watch in the middle part, and they could’ve tightened up the overall story. I get the vision of Guadagninoand the reasons why he made the film this way, but while it all pays off at the end, for the casual, impatient viewer, it might put them to sleep.
In terms of acting, everyone delivered. Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet have their own respective charm, and in the film, they played it up a notch higher, and yet, they never really went overboard. Thankfully, the chemistry between the two is palpable, as this film wouldn’t work without it. Michael Stuhlbarg stunned everyone with his speech in the third act, and his performance in that scene alone was begging for an Oscar. (One of the biggest Oscars snubs, by the way.)
Call Me By Your Name is an intimate, poignant tale of a short-lived summer love. It may seem shallow at first glance, but it reveals itself to be a quaint examination of young love, lust, and desire. It’s not perfect in some aspects, but it definitely manages to make you feel things.
My Rating: 9/10
Here’s the official trailer for ‘Call Me By Your Name’: