claira curtis’s review published on Letterboxd:
“Is it better to speak or to die?”
They really knew what they were doing putting Timothée Chalamet in a movie soundtracked with Sufjan Stevens, huh?
I’m going to address my critiques first, to get them out of the way, but in a more minimal way as to not open the giant can of worms that comes with that. I did not like the relationship between Oliver and Elio at all. I won’t use the phrasing “it wasn’t convincing” because I will never know the true intricacies of a mlm relationship but the relationship was definitely not one I felt any emotional connection to in any regard. The age gap alone... and I’ll be leaving it at that (the aforementioned can of worms). But perhaps, in part, that emotional disconnect is because this film was not made with me and what I emotionally connect to in mind.
My praises are also there, and a lot of them have been discussed abundantly already considering I’m a good handful of years late to one of the more talked about movies of the late 2010s.
Focusing on Elio, I do love the exploration of desire and sexuality that we see with his character, even if I don’t love who those desires lead to. All things considered, it’s refreshing to see a story that allows a young man to explore his sexuality so freely and without meeting aggressive homophobia in the process. His character seems wonderfully layered, a mesh of insecurities, endearing charm, and wonder. I’m keen to give the book a read, I can imagine the narration of Elio’s summer has a much deeper and more pressing hunger to it.
I adore the cohesion between the scoring and Elio’s character arc. The score, in the beginning of the film, carries a tone of curiosity that translates well into Chalamet’s portrayal of the character. As that curiosity transforms into obsession, infatuation, and lust, the score deepens, incorporating those rising feelings into its notes beautifully.
A champion of aesthetic triumphs, it’s not hard to fall in love with Italy. If anything, Call Me By Your Name is a love letter to the beauty of the countryside and to summer.
Well! I’ve officially started my year with Timothée and if all goes according to plan, I’m hoping to end my year with Timothée as well. Here’s to another year of letterboxd reviews! Thank you all for being here :)