Back in 2015, director Luca Guadagnino delivered us the triumphant and glamorous A Bigger Splash. This year, he follows it up with a tender, rousing tale of forbidden love in the Awards-tipped Call Me By Your Name.

The year is 1983. Elio (Timothée Chamalet), the son of an American professor Mr. Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg), is enjoying his Summer indulging in fruitful activities such as reading, writing, flirting with his girlfriend Marzia (Esther Garrel) and the like - a typical Summer for a precocious 17-year-old living in sumptuous Northern Italy. But he finds that things change when one of his father's graduate students, Oliver (Armie Hammer), comes and stays with their family in their home for a few weeks - to study, and live - as a part of an annual summer intern program that Perlman has set up. Elio finds himself entranced by Oliver but, more so, finds that the feeling is mutual; together, the pair share a forbidden and passionate romance in those short, but unforgettable, few weeks they have in each other's company.

The comparisons to recent Best Picture winner Moonlight, from earlier this year, are unavoidable. Both are films about gay romances that are absolutely incredible and Call Me By Your Name, similarly to Moonlight, will definitely be a big player come Awards season. This is an aching, sweeping and gorgeous story about love, life, and coming-of-age. By the time the credits roll, you will be in jaw-dropped, teary-eyed, and in gobsmacked awe - speechless perhaps - for this film is an explosion of such vigorous emotional flavour; it’s a film that is as triumphant as it is touching. However, this is all the result of such careful craft from Guadagnino and his purposeful, meticulous and unhurried storytelling here, laying out the characters, story and central romance with fine patience and precision. This isn’t a film with a break-neck pace but, rather, it’s gentle and authentic and we find ourselves slowly swallowed whole by this mesmerising tale and the subliminal writing from James Ivory - it's a process that’s smooth and almost hallucinogenic; like slowly easing into being drunk.
These characters are brimming with depth and Ivory breathes nuance into his work; relatability and authenticity permeates every scene, grounding this film with such rich and genuine heart and humanity. We’ve all felt the narcosis of love before, its overwhelming and gigantic wonder sweeping us off our feet; well, Call Me By Your Name depicts it superbly, and follows suit, sweeping us over with its elegance. This is a blistering story, though; the love is intense and fierce but delivered with such vigour and aplomb that we find ourselves breathless as the characters do and heartbroken as they do. Whilst Guadagnino’s prior work was visually visceral and soaked with style, Call Me By Your Name isn't. It opts for a more naturalistic direction and palette; it’s a more relaxed affair. Of course, the cherry on top is two powerhouse performances from Timothée Chamalet and Armie Hammer; the chemistry is palpable and effortlessly believable. But it’s Chamalet, especially, who makes an impression. It’s such a raw and heartfelt showcase of work, portraying the sensibilities of a fleeting, love-struck teenager but with the innocuity of one too.

Call Me By Your Name offers up a plethora of such masterful work. From Guadagnino’s masterclass storytelling and direction to the sublime, fizzling writing of the characters and dialogue, astounding performances, luscious cinematography, a brilliant score, set designs and costume work that immerse us in 1980’s Italy and more. This isn’t just another great love story because it’s different and “gay”. No. This is a great film because of its nuance and its characters and just how rich and complex this story is. It’s a work of craft and it’s a blistering, heart-aching delight of sumptuous cinematic perfection.


CALL ME BY YOUR NAME OPENS IN THE U.K ON OCTOBER 27TH, 2017.

VERDICT:
Call Me By Your Name is a mesmerising, aching, and sweeping story of love, life and coming-of-age.

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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