“Call Me By Your Name”: A Romantic Masterpiece

A scene in the Oscar nominated film, "Call Me by Your Name" (Photo from "The New Yorker")

“What do you do around here?” the tall Oliver (Armie Hammer) asks Elio (Timothée Chalamet), the 17-year-old giving him a tour of the enchanting Italian village where Oliver will be working for the next six weeks. “Wait for the summer to end,” the bored Elio says with a sigh. “And what do you do in the winter? Wait for the summer to come?” Oliver retorts back. That line gets only a chuckle from Elio, but that statement captures the initial mood of Call Me by Your Name, Luca Guadagnino’s magnificent new romance, which follows a deep connection that forms out of those restless days of late adolescence.

The story follows Elio, a 17 year old Italian-American, staying in his family’s villa in northern Italy in the summer of 1983. He slowly begins to fall in love with Oliver, his father’s assistant for the summer. In this sweeping and picturesque landscape of Italy; they create a small private space between the two of them, making every moment more intimate than the last. Call Me By Your Name is a looking glass into the fleeting romance between two people.

Guadagnino is good at catching the lilting drift of late summers. All of the characters at the villa seem to be moving in slow motion. This slow drawl makes the pacing of the story perfect, with every scene emasculating the laziness of a summer day that bleeds into a longer night. This lethargy captures the relationship between of Elio and Oliver, making the moments between the two characters into an idealized picture of romance.

Call Me By Your Name is a visually beautiful film that is very passionate and contemplative. The movie soars in its aesthetics, with the soundtrack being a mix of calm classical to Sufjan Stevens’ ballads of love. Overall, it is a glorious example of how a simple plot can be greater and more powerful than an intricate storyline.