Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★★★★

"And I would say I love you, 
but saying it out loud is hard,
so I won't say it at all."

There's something about the desperation in Timothee's character's voice at the end of Call Me by Your Name that's still haunting me over a full day after seeing it. The pleading, the helplessness. All too identifiable. It's hard to put into written words precisely how deep this character's growth over the course of the film seemed to cut for me, and it's one of the many reasons I won't feel fully comfortable with my rating for this until the second time I see it. I cried so much that by the end of the movie my eyes were sore, and that's something no other production I've seen in 2017 has done to me. 
While the basic storytelling themes are very reminiscent of Luca's other works (longing for affection, desperately seeking approval from peers, etc.), in many ways this is perhaps the most melancholy and poetic project he's ever been tasked with making. The sheer level of intimacy that he manages to evoke from emphasizing something as subtle as a soft red light looming over the shirtless, lanky body of our protagonist in the dark to something as complex as a single-shot of a sobbing face for minutes on end blends perfectly with an emotionally-overwhelming nostalgic haze. This blend goes hand-in-hand with an equally-mesmerizing soundtrack selection, most notably the inclusion of several Sufjan Stevens songs that I've yet to stop looping on my phone for over a month now.
The word "auteur" is overused to a definite fault these days, but I'll be damned if Guadagnino isn't the definition of one.


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