Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★★★★

Well, I guess the third time is the charm. This movie has stayed with me since my first viewing in December, and it's always been some inexplicable quality that brings me back. While I found my first two viewings to be great, I couldn't help but feel the movie was flawed, like it/I was missing something. I think I was finally able to accept, and rectify, these feelings, and learn to love this film for what it is. Sure, there's still some clunky acting (especially in the beginning, but it gets better as it goes), some very choppy dialogue, random moments of questionable pacing, and a few shots that seem out of the style; but at this point, that's me looking for flaws. Because at the end of the day, there are really lived-in and rich characters, inhabiting their world, that is gorgeously captured, and conveyed through symbols, mood, and the essence of feeling. This is what a movie romance should be, because it's familiar enough to be reality, but it has the whole plethora of time condensed into a beautiful two hour package.

This movie is also just so pleasant, and feels so easy to return to. I watched it on a Saturday afternoon, and it had a very homey feeling to it. There's something about the atmosphere that is enrapturing, and doesn't let go. The subtle dance of seduction that eventually turns into full blown affection, that eventually turns to heartbreak, is perfectly balanced and nuanced that the journey is always pleasurable to be apart of; even at it's most crushing.

Time is the enemy, for almost any romantic situation, whether it be the scenario presented here, or even the possibility of love fading, or someone dying, no matter what, time is the enemy. I guess time is the enemy of all life, so to make that the single antagonistic force is a very important choice as to why this is a masterpiece. I've seen more than one review that compares this to other modern day LGBTQ masterpieces such as Carol, and Moonlight, and where I think this triumphs over both of those is it's singular focus. Both those films have more elaborate plots, that also happen to involve a same-sex romantic angle, whereas this is the entire focus of CMBYN, and that is what sets it above and beyond most modern romance movies.

There's still many areas that are problematic, but I think that's also apart of the brilliant storytelling. It's very heavily from Elio's subjective perspective, and therefore Oliver is just an idolized adonis, whereas in reality, he's kind of a manipulative and shitty dude living out his fantasies he never could, via a very sweet, and confused, sexually budding child (teen). But it's still romance, it's still love, and no matter what, both will never be the same again. The film is as universal as it is specific, and I finally can comfortably say, I love it, and it's definitely a favorite for the all-times.

Timothee Chalamet, while giving an incredibly vulnerable performance, hasn't even come close to evolving to his maximum potential as an actor. He's got all the markings to be my generations DiCaprio, so i really hope it doesn't get to his head and fuck it up. For all our sakes.

Also, the "Love My Way" sequence... I feel beyond compelled to just mention it. It's one of the simplest, and most powerful, dance sequences ever captured for the medium of film. The context surrounding it, of course, adds to the blissful perfection, but, even as a singular moment, it's dazzling, and will always be my favorite moment of the film.

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