Movies featuring LGBT storylines usually don't run in major motion pictures, but with the past success of films like Carol, we are gifted with another solid LGBT film Call Me By Your Name. The film centers around 17-year-old Elio ( Timothee Chalamet) who lives with his family in Northern Italy in the early 80's. During one summer a young American college student named Oliver (Armie Hammer) comes to stay with them and work with Elio's father. Oliver's presence has an immediate effect on Elio and the early phases of a relationship between the two start to emerge. Despite having a girlfriend Elio struggles with these new feelings he is experiencing toward Oliver and as the summer goes on the tension between the two builds until they are each faced with the choice of acting on them or letting the moments they have together slip by.
I personally felt this was a pretty wonderfully told coming of age story. It just had a very real feel to it from the awkward conversations to a young man trying to impress someone he is interested in but at times doesn't feel equal to. Chalamet does a wonderful job of breathing life and depth into his character and it is great to see on screen. Whether he is fumbling through his first sexual encounter with his girlfriend or gripping on to blind courage to make a move on the man he really desires he handles it with complete acting perfection. Armie Hammer's Oliver is also wonderfully relatable to see on screen. We have all had crushes or been attracted to people like his character at some point. The ones that seem too cool for the room, bubbling with confidence and who may seem slightly out of reach. He brings us this desirable figure that once the walls come down are really not so different from our lead, Elio. These two just work together as a couple and like most great love stories you get the feeling they are doomed to not be together since Oliver is set to leave at the end of the summer. As time flies by you really are pushing for these two to get it together and at least enjoy the time they have together leaving audiences with a rather bittersweet feeling.
Another character I want to show some love too because he gives the best speech in the film about love is Elio's father Mr. Pearlman, played by Michael Stuhlbarg. His character brings a huge amount of heart to the film. He is the father that many LGBT children would probably wish they had when the truth about Elio's sexuality finally comes to light. Seriously, his speech at the end of the film when he is sitting on the couch talking to his son is just beautiful and heartbreaking and deserves to be seen. If you watch the film for nothing else, let it be that speech about love and being true to yourself about who you are. It is the best.
Overall, I scored this one with an easy A. I am sure plenty of people will not find this film for them and that is okay. It is not the most action-packed film you could see this year, but the story is a good one and despite the occasional long pauses and glances it moves pretty smoothly. If you are worried about some crazy over the top love scenes they are kept to a minimum and yes there is sexual content and teenage weirdness, but nothing over the top......except for that orange..... I'll let you figure that one out. Otherwise, I would definitely recommend checking out Call Me By Your Name. Hitting theaters everywhere this weekend.