joshhh’s review published on Letterboxd:
I think the idea of capturing the feeling of what it’s like to be in love is a hard thing to do on film. When someone is able to capture that unescapable feeling that causes confusion, anger, joy, and fear all at the same time, it’s truly something beautiful. I remember when I first watched Brokeback Mountain. It was the first time I saw a film romance for something other than what a writer or two put down onto paper and presented it to actors to film. It was something more. A connection unlike anything I had ever felt in a movie before. I’ve seen a couple of films that have been able to transcend the romance genre (a genre filled with missteps imo). But Call Me By Your Name just felt like something else entirely. Not a single thing that happened felt like written material. It unfolded in front of my eyes like I was there in that summer of 1983. This movie packs a punch, more so than probably any other this year. It’s execution is perfect and there’s not a single lie about it. The relationship in this movie is honestly more thrilling than a lot of other movies I’ve seen this year. But, it’s more complicated than most other movies. The characters can’t express their feelings because honestly, they’re too complex to boil down to words. But that’s what love is. Love is complex. To be honest I truly don’t know how to define the relationship in this movie. There was clearly something truly special happening, but it acted as more a barrage of conflicted feelings more than anything. It’s about two people who want to be with each other, two people who want to hold each other’s hands and laugh together. Two people who want a connection. Is it love? I want to believe it is. It’s such a complex word, love; in all honestly it’s one of the scariest words I’ve ever encountered in my life. It’s something I still struggle to find clarity in when a situation arises in which I must consider the gravity of it. It’s one simple word that somehow holds so much meaning it honestly frightens me to the core. But why do I do it? Why do I always run away from it? I’ve faced it multiple times and stared at it in the eye, but I cower away. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t know why I feel the way I do at times or why love scares me, I honestly don’t know. I really wish I did. I’m not ready for what it leads to I guess. I’m not ready for the pain I might have to endure. There are sometimes when I just turn people away who are trying to help me because I’m just that scared of confronting feelings that lead to something like that. And then there's that part one thats afraid I can't find love, that I'll never find someone who wants to use that word with me. There are scenes in this film where one simple statement can change the course of the entire relationship between Elio and Oliver. One statement could bring two people closer, or rip them apart and throw them away. That’s how precious and important love is. You need to fully understand the situation until you can decide how to tackle it. But there are times when you can’t. It came down to the final speech from Michael Stuhlbarg’s character (which can I just say there need to be more dad characters like this, real dads in general too). What these two had was beautiful. You have to hold onto moments like the ones these two characters have, because you can find yourself years down the road with someone else still clinging to those very moments, longing for that time again. Cherish these moments because they are what’s important in life. They are the breeding ground for eventual and long-lasting happiness and if you catch them and harness them, you’re in luck. But don’t be afraid to hold onto the pain that may stem from these very same moments. It’s all useful in the long run. And that’s what’s so scary about love. I pray I’ll learn one day how to approach it. I pray one day I’ll be able to confidently use the word without having a false beat or sense of fear like I have in the past. No matter the pain or the sorrow it may cause, I hope I find love.