Thinking about Luca Guadagnino’s Oscar-nominated adaptation of André Aciman’s 2007 novel ‘Call Me by Your Name’, I also reminisce about its beautiful set-pieces and Sufjan Stevens’ Oscar-nominated song ‘Mystery of Love’. I also think of the heartbreak that sneaks through in a place you least expect; haunting you long after the credits roll. ‘Call Me by Your Name’ has still stuck with me this week, and as I anticipate the Oscars coming this Sunday, I still think of its impact. I am not saying that this movie is the best ‘Best Picture’ nominee; there are certain moments that feel graphic in nature. To its credit, it is a sweet portrayal of love and friendship.
What makes ‘Call Me by Your Name’ good is the chemistry between Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer. It is fun to watch their characters get to know each other through a week in Italy, only for it to blossom into a romance. Chalamet plays Elio, an aspiring 17-year-old musician living with his parents (Michael Stuhlbarg and Amira Casar) in their villas in Italy; the year is 1983; a warm summer sets in as Elio spends time with his friends and girlfriend (Esther Garrel), while writing compositions for his next musical piece, as he passionately plays his piano. In comes Oliver (Hammer), a 24-year-old college graduate who becomes an assistant to Elio’s father for the week. Elio suddenly becomes interested in Oliver, as he starts to learn much more about the older man (He first sees that Oliver is wearing the Star of David as a necklace, implying his Jewish faith). They spend time together, riding bikes, going for swims, and converse about life.
What follows is a beautiful and bittersweet story that makes you admire the way it is shot, as well as takes you on an emotional journey with both Elio and Oliver. ‘Call Me by Your Name’ may not win the coveted ‘Best Picture’ Oscar, but it will keep you talking.