Set in Italy in the summer of 1983, Call Me By Your Name presents a coming-of-age tale of burgeoning love between two young men, one of them a 17-year-old Italian-American teen, the other a 24-year-old American doctoral student.
The film stars Armie Hammer as Oliver, the doctoral intern, and Timothy Chalamet as Elio, the younger man. Michael Stuhlbarg co-stars as Elio’s father, the college professor for whom Oliver understudies. Directed by Luca Guadagnino from a script by James Ivory and Andre Aciman, the story is adapted from Aciman’s 2007 book by the same name.
Central to the plot of this indy drama is a measured sexual awakening, a conflicting set of emotions at work in the gradual self-realization of Elio’s identity as he finds himself drawn to the older Oliver. Their evolving romantic relationship leads to a bittersweet culmination as Oliver must return to the States and Elio is left to deal with his sexual metamorphosis. Toward story’s end, Elio’s father engages in a touching scene in which he attempts to reconcile his son’s feelings, a moment certain to make audiences, whether straight or gay, identify with the young man’s impending growth and self-awareness.
Critics have lavished this film with high praise for its deft handling of what is a universal story, a gay relationship that transcends that definition, an effort that many suggest might make this one a breakout hit among art house moviegoers.
RottenTomatoes gives the film a staggering score of 98. Audiences come in at a very respectable 90. Call Me By Your Name runs 2 hours 12 minutes and is rated R.
BELOW: Call Me By Your Name trailer.
BELOW: New York Film Festival Q & A.