Mike’s review published on Letterboxd:
"If only you knew how little I know about the things that matter."
Bear with me; this is long as hell but since this is my favorite film of the year, I have to.
This film lingered on me and seeped into my thoughts for a while afterwards. I felt like my sense of perception was heightened right after watching this because of how intense some parts of the film look into its characters. Taking the train ride home, I noticed the city skyline for the first time in a while. I took in the beautiful emblazoned signs, the texture of the seat backing on the train, the crinkled paper bag holding my beer. This film made me soak my environment in so poignantly and at the same time kept me entranced in it's world for so long after watching it.
"I'd never have the courage to say something like that."
I want to say first that I thought Chalamet was an absolute knockout and deserves serious recognition after this. The subtleties of his glances, his facial expressions, and body language. Even the way he talks, which funnily enough was brought up in a line by the also amazing Armie Hammer later on.
"I think he's a better person than I am."
The blossoming of Elio and Oliver's friendship into something more was done so intricately and viscerally. The buildup, dialogue, and physicality between these two had this indescribable chemistry I feel like I've never seen on screen. They were a huge spectrum of emotions in their interactions that it really made you invest in them, one of them being their constant playful teasing. I could also be biased because of my love for Italy and the story itself, but there were just so many subtleties in body language and small moments that made their love so real. Also the hilarious moments that were characteristically Italian, especially Mafalda and some table discussions.
Without giving too much away, I think the reason why this movie struck so deep with me was not just Oliver and Elio, but this automatic acceptance and encouragement that came from the parents. People who've seen this will know the moments I'm referring to. That, and the speech at the end made this film a perfection amalgamation of love, pain, happiness, frustration, and a million more adjectives that I fail to find words for, but is perfectly captured in the lingering last scene. Thank you Luca, for making this so authentic and beautiful.