It's a love letter to mothers when all is said and done: biological and otherwise. And it succeeds in large part due to a stunning debut performance by Aparicio.
Where so many Hollywood-ized "gay" stories end on a positive note of rebirth and optimism, Guadagnino is helming a love story unafraid to highlight the suffering one always contains. Love is only able to live up to its name if its absence rips out your heart to the point of numbing yourself from ever risking such pure emotion again. Love isn't sex. Love is pain.
And that honesty comes down to Fisher's performance. She's so natural throughout whether the moment calls for awkwardness, confidence, self-deprecating humor, or abject terror. The brilliant sound design helps punctuate her spot-on comedic timing, but the drama is hers alone.