LFF 2017: Armie Hammer And Timothée Chalamet Explore First Love In Call Me By Your Name

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and his family spend their summers in their house in Northern Italy. Every summer, his parents invite an academic from another country to stay with them for a six-week research trip working with Elio’s father, who is an antiquities professor.

In the summer of 1983, Oliver (Armie Hammer) is the one who stays with them and the American seems to easily slip into the Italian way of life. He gets along well with Elio and his family, as well as Elio’s friends. He also seems to get closer to a girl, which subtly makes Elio jealous, even though Elio spends a lot of time with his local girlfriend, Marzia (Esther Garrel).

Both girls are soon neglected, however, when Elio and Oliver realize that they hold deeper feelings for one another.

Watch the trailer below to get a better picture of what Call Me By Your Name is about:

When I watched the trailer for Call Me by Your Name, I didn’t know what the movie would be about and what I should expect from it. Admittedly, I haven’t read the book either, so I literally had no idea what I’d get myself into. After watching it, however, I couldn’t have been more surprised.

Call Me by Your Name started out slow and, to be honest, the first hour or so was rather boring as nothing much happened. As soon as Elio and Oliver finally realized what they were feeling for each other, however, it started to get much better. The storyline picked up the pace. It was a brilliant movie, which I can highly recommend everyone should go and see. It explores the struggles of what it means to fall in love with the same sex for the first time, which on both parts was beautifully portrayed. It is also a beautiful love story that we all dream about.

Timothée Chalamet had never been on my radar before, even though I watched a lot of his projects, but this movie has definitely changed that. He was fantastic as Elio and the struggle the 17-year-old had when he first realized how he felt towards Oliver was deeply felt. It was reasonable for everyone who watched the movie. Particularly given that homosexually was still something frowned upon in the early 80’s, something that was addressed during the story as well. The honest conversations Elio had with his parents were some that probably were really rare during that time. At the very end after Oliver left, the scene between Elio and his father (Michael Stuhlbarg) is extremely powerful and wonderfully played by the actors.

Armie Hammer definitely isn’t just good to look at. Like Chalamet, Hammer was fantastic as Oliver in the movie. He was cheeky and caring towards Elio in the course of the movie. He was especially loving towards the boy he had just met a few weeks before. It was refreshing to see an American character not be overly American in a non-American production. It is what made Oliver so real and fit into Elio’s life so perfectly.

Luca Guadagnino directed a wonderful piece of cinema. One that will continue to get rave reviews, which, after watching it, is highly understandable. Call Me By Your Name was a very realistic and beautiful movie about a first love and the struggles that go along with it in the beginning, especially given the time it is set in. It may not have a happy end, but Elio’s and Oliver’s love was real and something special, which Elio’s father pointed out in one of the last scenes. Even after the end, it is still perceived that way by the audience.

Call Me by Your Name will have its UK premiere on October 9th at the London Film Festival. I’d advise you to head to the theater the following days as well when it will be shown.

It will be released on October 27th in the UK and on November 24th in the US.

Anna Hattingen
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