Call Me by Your Name – Presenting an openly gay relationship in mainstream film productions has not been easy, although since Ang Lee’s excellent “Brokeback Mountain” (2005) the theme has been approached more frequently and naturally. Homosexual love is, after all, a legitimate mode of expressing affection and sexual desire on the part of some human beings. Still—if one remembers when “Brokeback Mountain” was released—some prudish commentators at the time, insisted that the film was not about gay love and sex, but about “relationships,” a somewhat foolish attempt to deny the homosexual experience of the characters and the essential elements of the plot.
In the case of “Call Me by Your Name” (released in French as “Appelle-moi par ton nom”), there is no way that its essential constituent might be disguised: seventeen-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) lives with his fairly liberal Jewish family in Lombardy, Italy. He has some relation with Marzia (Esther Garrel), a French girl living in the nearby town. Things will experience a significant change when Oliver (Armie Hammer) a Jewish academic arrives for a summer stay at the family home. Oliver and Elio’s father Mr. Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg) share some scholarly fields of interest. Elio would soon feel attracted by the visitor who seems open to experience something that would be more than a friendship. In the end, what would remain is the feeling of love experienced by Elio as self-discovery and by Oliver as a search for something not very clear. Both, however, end up as enigmatic characters for whom that summer of 1983 would have left a significant mark in their lives.
This film is directed by Luca Guadagnino, written by James Ivory, and shot in Italy. “Call Me by Your Name” contains some scenes of male and female nudity and gay sex, it should be of interest to those who like a love story of a different tone, but keeping a good balance between interesting dialogues and interactions among the characters, beautiful scenery, and of course, some sex.
Feature image: Elio feels attracted by Oliver, the American visitor
Duration: 130 min.