#TIFF17: “CALL ME BY YOUR NAME”
Review by Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
Coming-of-age stories are hardly anything new. Neither are stories about young men learning to accept their sexuality. What makes Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name unique is its dedication to expressing its young protagonist’s story in a way that is no way exploitative while still being completely honest about the struggles of the 17-year-old.
Elio (Timothée Chalamet) lives “somewhere in Northern Italy” with his parents (Amira Casar and Michael Stuhlbarg, whose emotional Third Act soliloquy is a highlight of the Film). Every year the Perlmans invite an American university student to study with them for the summer. This year’s guest, Oliver (Armie Hammer), has caught the attention of all the girls in the village. Stuck on the sidelines, Elio isn’t sure if he’s jealous of Oliver or the girls. As the summer draws to a close, Elio makes the first move and changes the power dynamic in his relationship with Oliver leaving both emotionally vulnerable.
Standing as a servant to the Film but never overtaking the action, the music, highlighted with original songs by Sufjan Stevens, is nothing short of perfection. Perhaps the least well known of the cast, Chalamet’s performance is astonishing even in scenes where Guadagnino’s imagery leans toward becoming too heavy-handed. Call Me By Your Name is an absolute must-see during the Festival.
Mongrel Media will screen Call Me By Your Name at TIFF ’17 at the following times:
Thursday, September 7 7:15 p.m. Ryerson Theatre
Friday, September 8 9:30 a.m. TIFF Bell Lightbox