Call Me by Your Name (2017) Review

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In Italy in the early 1980s a romance happens between a seventeen year old Elio and Oliver, an older man who is an American Student that his father has hired as a research assistant.

This is going to be such a tough review to put together in all honesty as this is proabably the most hyped up film I have been to see in a long time. It probably doesn’t help that it didn’t get a wide release and I missed seeing it at an independent cinema during that time. But because of the Oscar nominations it was given a one off screening that I could luckily attend. That also leaves a huge problem doesn’t it, the fact that I was expecting to then see a truly incredible film with an amazing love story.

I guess from that opening paragraph you would have already picked up that I did not find it to be an amazing love story. It felt rather bland at times and I failed to see the build up of love and an amazing romance more a seventeen year old exploring all parts of his sexuality and losing his virginity in all possible ways. I certainly would place it more in the lust and forbidden category. I expected a lot more in terms of the moments between Elio and Oliver as it did not really feel like they were falling in love with each other in my opinion.

The way the film was shot as well was rather distracting at times, was it just me or every time the pair kissed the camera was fuzzy? But that didn’t happen when Elio was with Mariza? Just a small gripe. I did like the many shots of Italy really showing just how beautiful the place was.

Another strange thing about the film was Elio’s relationship with his parents which seemed to be very open. He was not really a very likeable character to be brutally honest, thinking he knew best about well pretty much everything. Although he does admit that in the grand scheme of things he doesn’t know anything about the things that really matter.

I just feel as though I was expecting too much from this film which led to the disappointment in all honesty. I must have just missed so many things about it, like can someone explain what is so amazing about someone calling you by their name and you calling them yours? Like seriously I just did not get that at all. I found it pretentious and lacking any real depth as we are suddenly supposed to believe that the pair are in love when nothing really built towards that during the opening part of the film.

Performance wise I wasn’t blown away by Chalamet which seems to happen with each role he is in at the moment and I am left wondering why even more now. It baffles me that he has been nominated for an Oscar in all honesty as I didn’t think anything about his role was outstanding. Hammer didn’t really impress me either as the American Oliver who didn’t really seem to care too much about well anything really. The only performance I actually found myself impressed with was from Michael Stuhlbarg as the father, the best dialogue had to be from him to his son near to the end.

This was always going to be a tough film to watch after all of the hype, so on that basis expect it to win all the Oscars this year as that is what usually happens when I am disappointed and well miss something with a film. Such a shame as I really was looking forward to this one, just too many things don’t fit within it.

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14 thoughts on “Call Me by Your Name (2017) Review

  1. This film was to me one of two really over-praised films this past year – I agree with all of your points, and I don’t want to give away any plot points but the actions of the parents are completely unbelievable, especially when you see what happens in the film…great review by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you didn’t get the hype. I was really moved by the film and by Chalamet’s performance. Even in the early 80s, there were parents who were okay with their kids being gay, especially intelligent, educated people with gay friends. Especially, too, if one of your parents might be gay or bi as well. There’s more than a hint of that being a possibility in the father’s speech. Was Elio really in love or was it lust? You could say the same thing about Romeo & Juliet and lots of other love stories. I think Elio felt everything from superiority to fascination, from lust to love, from obsession to heartache, and it’s all there in Chalamet’s performance. Oliver is a less interesting character, and less likeable, and I’m more willing to believe it was, for him, an affair of the body rather than the heart. Anyway, not a perfect movie, but it worked for me in a lot of ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comments, as I think this really does highlight some of the things I really missed about this film in all honesty.

      I did think the speech from his father was the best part and it certainly sounded like he wanted to experience things with men.

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  3. That’s too bad the film didn’t live up to your expectations. I thought that would happen to me when I saw it, but I really loved it. I think Chalamet did such a great job, I could relate to the character and know exactly what he was feeling. I mean that ending, so many emotions portrayed without even saying a word. It was just one of those films that stuck with me, which is always my sign of a good one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah I was certainly just missing something from it, but that happens and is certainly the thing I love about watching films. Each person can see something different and relate to different things.

      Like

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