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Call Me by Your Name

 

Year: 2017 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is expected to have certain elements which are subtitled, but it is not expected that the entire film will contain them. 
Directed by Luca Guadagnino 
Starring: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg 
An image from Call Me by Your Name

Review:

Unquestionably one of the best films of 2017, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name evades the most conventional definitions. It is a coming-of-age story, a story of self-discovery, the story of the erotic and romantic relationship between the two main young characters – Elio and Oliver –, but it is also much more. Other than an obvious triumph for the queer community, with an almost certain Oscar nomination, following the steps of the Jenkin’s 2016 gem Moonlight, Call Me by Your Name is a hymn to the uniqueness of the human ability to feel. The final speech by Mr. Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg), Elio’s father, will easily become one of the most iconic and unforgettable monologues in the history of modern cinema: a poignant and moving anthem to human fragility and to the marvel of the pure, unsuppressed experience of emotions.

The film, set in northern rural Italy in the 1980s, ensures that the audience is completely absorbed by its setting: it is not set in the stereotypical, outrageously colourful 80s that we are used to see on the big screen, but in the 80s of daily life. Many of the costumes and set decorations come from the actors and crew’s own homes and wardrobes (peep at Guadagnino’s own ‘50s dishes), or local stores, allowing for an even deeper secret intimacy between the characters and the setting.

The soundtrack, consisting of 80s Italian and international tunes, piano arrangements of classical pieces and singer-songwriter Sufjan Steven’s original songs, acts as a companion to the audience, taking us by our hands and carrying us on the same emotional journey of the two protagonists. With a cinematographically simple, yet extraordinarily powerful closing scene, which ends the film on a melancholic note, it is hard to find a flaw in Guadagnino’s most recent film. The perfect example of a probable future classic, and consequently a must-watch.

Marta Meazza

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Screenings of this film:

2017/2018 Spring Term (digital)