Call Me By Your Name – **** out of ****4 Stars
Italian director – Luca Guadagnino (“I Am Love”, “A Bigger Splash”) finishes his third film in his “Desire” trilogy with his best and most acclaimed work to date. Along with his co-writer Walter Fasano, Guadagnino, adapting Andre Aciman’s revered 2007 coming of age novel, shares scripting credits with the iconic James Ivory of such masterpieces of contemporary cinema as “A Room with a View” and “Remains of the Day”.
The story takes place in the summer of 1983 in northern Italy with an optimism in the air of “anything is possible”. The youthful and charismatic Timothee Chalamet is pitch perfect as Elio Perlman, a 17 year old living with his American professor father( excellent Michael Stuhlbarg) and his translator wife (Amira Casar), Then a graduate school intern arrives from United States to provide assistance with locating artifacts’ from The Greco –Roman empire. The U.S, student’s name is Oliver, 24 years, and he is played superbly by the seasoned thespian Armie Hammer. At first there is distrust by Elio for the better looking and more experienced American but soon they develop a strong attraction for one another. What unfolds is a remarkable chemistry between them due to the directing skill of Guadagnino It is a blend of the carnal and spiritual not seen in a mainstream gay film since “Brokeback Mountain.”
The love portrayed is both sensitive and bittersweet, It was my favorite film at Sundance 2017 in the non-competitive Premiere category. A truly wonderful film without the awkwardness of AIDS or homophobia being thrust upon us, It supports peace, love and understanding.