If Call Me By Your Name doesn’t get a Best Picture Oscar nomination this year, then really, the film industry needs a massive reboot…
It was no secret that my most anticipated film at the BFI London Film Festival this year was the romantic, coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name directed by Luca Guadagnino, written by James Ivory, based on the novel by André Aciman. As soon as I saw the trailer a few months ago, I was like ‘whoa’, this looks downright sexy. The trailer alone was like catnip for me. The fact that we were actually getting an epic gay love story starring Armie Hammer and hot, new talent Timothée Chalamet ramped up the internal hype for me and something told me I wasn’t going to be disappointed with this film. And I wasn’t. The global hype this film is getting is most definitely deserved. Even after seeing the movie, I get a little teary-eyed when rewatching the trailer, remembering all the feels I got whilst enveloping myself in this wondrous piece of cinematic art.
What’s it about? The film takes place in Northern Italy in the 80s. Every summer, young Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and his family host an academic to assist his father, surrounded by the lush landscape of crystal blue water, sweltering sunshine and exquisite food. When the confident Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives, he becomes somewhat of a fascination for Elio who like every young man, is exploring his sexuality during the lazy days and endless summer nights. Plot spoiler (as if you were surprised) Elio and Oliver fall tremendously in love and embark on a summer romance that will rip your heart out from its core.
Why is it so good? Unlike most gay-themed films, there is absolutely no dark, looming negative antagonist at work in Call Me By Your Name. The film remains firmly rooted in it’s story of love without the threat of disease, without the judgement of family members and without the fear of being gay in a heteronormative world. The focus is purely on this “beautiful thing” that exists between the two male characters. Its poignant storytelling transcends magically onto the screen and a film like this is very much needed right now as it helps break the stigma of LGBTQ issues and puts “love is love” very much into the political spotlight it deserves.
With light-hearted sex scenes (the peach scene will make you LOL), a beautiful locational canvas and memorable performances by the entire cast, Call Me By Your Name is guaranteed to be near the top of your list of films this year as well.
Call Me By Your Name is released October 27th in the UK and November 24th in the USA. Total Oscar bait.
Check out the BFI London Film Festival Press Conference about the film below.