I have to admit, I wanted to see Call Me by Your Name because Armie Hammer is one of the leads. He is just so beautiful to watch onscreen. But this movie is so much more than Armie and his gorgeousness. I cannot wait to read the book of the same name that was written by André Aciman.
Elio is 17 and is living with his parents for the summer somewhere in northern Italy. The setting does not seem to be far from the Alps and from Bergamo, east of Milan. The lush setting, including the gardens, house, and countryside, add to the magical atmosphere of that summer, as does the nearby village.
Armie plays Oliver, a graduate student on a 6-week assignment to aid Elio’s father in his work as a research professor. Elio seems disturbed that he once again has to give up his room to a summer student. Elio is some sort of child musical prodigy and a voracious reader and likes the seclusion of his own room; he is a true introvert. Oliver shows up as a confident older guy, an outgoing American who seems to enjoy his experiences and lives fully in the moment. However, Oliver is a very caring, respectful person. Over the weeks Oliver and Elio develop a better, less contentious relationship. Elio is ready for his first intimate relationship and yearns for Oliver more than he does his girlfriend, Marzia. Even though Elio is young and not quite sure of himself and his sexuality, he is probably the more honest and mature, in a way, of the two friends, probably due to his wonderful parents.
The performances of all the actors are definitely top-notch, including the supporting actors such as Michael Stuhlbarg as Elio’s father. His father/son talk advice to Elio near the end of the film was definitely my highlight of the film. Holding back the tears as Elio listens to his father’s advice on love and life, I could only think about how no matter how good the film was throughout, hearing that monologue was the sort of unconditional acceptance every almost adult child would want from their parent.