Arts & Culture

Review: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ masters visual storytelling

Jacob VanHoutan, Staff Writer

If you enjoy an experience at the theater, “Call Me By Your Name” is the film for you. This film is brave in its depiction of relationships and does a great job in presenting a wonderful story about love. Luca Guadagnino is the kind of poetic filmmaker who focuses on what the film shows through its visuals rather than what it tells you. Timothee Chalamet plays the main character Elio, a 17-year-old on summer vacation with his parents in Northern Italy. Armie Hammer portrays Oliver, a 24-year-old research assistant who comes to study with Elio’s father, Mr. Perlman, played by Michael Stuhlbarg.
Chalamet gives a revelatory performance in this film. His character is this very brash young man who is searching for his purpose. He is a talented musician and has a wide breadth of knowledge about so many different things. Hammer is also brilliant in his role. He is a strong, independent man who begins to develop a lovely relationship with Elio.
Oliver and Elio both evolve as characters through their relationship. When Oliver comes into Elio’s life and challenges his being, Elio begins to shrivel up and hide parts of himself out of fear. Oliver seems to never show fear and always does what he wants. He is constantly challenging Elio to do more, and they both grow this very loving bond between each other.
This film focuses heavily on the relationship between the two men, and Guadagnino never looks down on it. He focuses on making the film just a thoughtful love story. Guadagnino has shown in his previous films that he does a great job at visual filmmaking. This film has some of the best cinematography of the year. Guadagnino has some very beautiful shots in this film and makes you wish you could just live in Italy. There are so many great scenes in this film that showcase each aspect of the film so well.
Chalamet has many fantastic moments to shine in his role with one very amazing scene near the end of the film in the front of a fireplace, and Stuhlbarg as the father in this film is terrific. His role isn’t as large as the other two actors. However, his monologue towards the end of the film is the kind of scene that almost brought me to tears.
“Call Me By Your Name” is the kind of poetic cinema that does wonders with such a minimalist story. The film allows the characters to live within the frame, and it shows us who they are and what they can become. This film combines a beautiful musical score with such strong performances that make it impossible not to watch. The film is a masterpiece that deserves even more Oscar nominations than it has received, and I highly recommend everyone see it as soon as you can.

This article first appeared in the Friday, February 2, 2018, Edition of The Echo.