Is Call Me by Your Name, the film adaptation of André Aciman’s beloved novel, the best adaptation ever? Critics seem to think so. The film currently holds a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has just been named the best film of the year by the L.A Film Critics Association. David Edelstein from Vulture is calling it ‘a masterpiece.’ It received a ten-minute standing ovation after it was screened at the New York Film Festival, which is the longest standing ovation in the festival’s history. My sister said that it instantly became one of her favorite films of all time, and she’s seen it twice in the cinema and cried absolute buckets both times.
I am ashamed to say that I have yet to see it, but the cinema is expensive in America. It had been on my ‘to-go-and-see’ list since long before all these rave reviews. Ever since I saw the trailer months ago, I thought “that looks good.” When I heard Sufjan Stevens was featured on the soundtrack, I though “even better.” Seemingly, I was not wrong.
According to RottenTomatoes:
Elio Perlman, a precocious 17- year-old American-Italian, spends his days in his family’s 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia. Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father, an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella, a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights. While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver, a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.
Yeah, that sounds pretty good. Let’s see what the reviews are saying…
I can’t remember a filmmaker who has captured the essence of midsummer this way, lazy but so vivid that every sound registers. Sound floats in through windows — of insects and birds but mostly wind. The presence of Nature can be felt in every one of cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom’s frames. It’s reflected in the bodies of the characters. Oliver is hard for Elio — and us — to read. Is he toying with the teenager? Or is something stirring in him, too? In this atmosphere, how can something not be stirring?
Deadline says that young star Timothée Chalamet “delivers on all fronts,” and calls Armie Hammer “a revelation.”
The Hollywood Reporter says the film has “unexpectedly deep wells of emotion and surges of insight into human nature and relationships.”
Empire calls it:
a romance overwhelming in its intensity, a heart that swells until it has to burst… All Elio’s teenage emotions are raw on Chalamet’s skin. He plays him as a person still forming, not scared by his feelings but surprised. In a film in which every performance is terrific, Chalamet makes the rest look like they’re acting. He alone would make the film worth watching, but he’s just one of countless reasons.
I am literally nearly in tears reading the reviews of Call Me By Your Name, so am no doubt going to disgrace myself weeping when I do eventually see it in the cinema. Indiewire reported last week that the film, which led the Independent Spirit Awards nominations, could receive as many as seven Oscar nominations: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Song, Best Editing, and Best Picture. I expect I’ll have my fingers crossed for it, come January.
Featured Image Via thefilmexperience.net