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Call Me by Your Name

Luca Guadagnino

Adapted from André Aciman’s novel by Italian filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name is a sensual, heartbreaking depiction of first love and all the joy and pain that is undeniably part of the experience. Centred around a beautiful and touching central performance by young actor Timothée Chalamet, this film lingers in your mind and soul, like all great loves that get away.

"A sensual, heartbreaking depiction of first love."

Guadagnino (I Am Love, A Bigger Splash) is particularly gifted at creating an authentic setting for his films, in this case a summer house in northern Italy, where an American professor of antiquities and his family decamp every summer. Precocious, intelligent, multi-lingual, wise-beyond-his-years 17-year-old Elio (Chalamet) spends his days transcribing complicated classical piano pieces and hanging out with the other local teens. When his father’s new research assistant Oliver (a superb Armie Hammer) arrives for a six-week internship, Elio is both infuriated and intrigued by the stranger’s easy but distant behaviour. Eventually the two make a connection, and when they do, it isn’t a passing infatuation but an earth-shattering relationship which will change both of their lives forever.

All the pain, ecstasy and confusion of falling in love is tangible on screen, as is the chemistry between Chalamet and Hammer. This is no John Hughes coming of age film though; Call Me by Your Name is decidedly more intellectual, a film where family dinner conversation revolves around art, literature, poetry, history and linguistics. There is something deeply evocative about the 1980s setting, pulsating with Psychedelic Furs tunes and bad fashions; it feels very familiar, like that European summer holiday from days long past which will stay with you forever.