5 October 2017 | bastille-852-731547
An Extraordinary, Extraordinarily Unforgettable Masterwork of Filmmaking
I loved "A Bigger Splash" (the previous film by Luca Guadagnino,) and was in awe by the trailer and stunning reviews for this film. Needless to say, my expectations were utterly shattered by this powerful, emotional, and gorgeous drama. It's one of the best films of the decade, and clearly the best film of the year so far.
While this isn't the type of film with too many spoilers, I still don't want to give too much away. It's better to go into such a sublime film like this knowing less rather than more. What I will say is that the main plot concerns an adolescent man who is spending a summer in the 1980's with family in Lombardy, Italy. He begins having a relationship with an older man invited as a guest by the family played by Armie Hammer. The film's pacing is superb and lets the viewer genuinely meet these characters, who are bonded by both friendship and physical affection. This is clearly shown throughout the movie, as the chemistry between the two leads is excellent.
But what makes "Call Me By Your Name" such a phenomenal film is its gripping sense of feeling. Viewers truly feel that they are away from where they are viewing the film, and truly feel like they have been transported to 1980's Italy. Guadagnino is a masterpiece at eliciting senses, and the audience's sense of senses are used to full effect to simulate the true feelings of being in Italy. From luscious depictions of peaches and apricots grown in the countryside, to the streets in gorgeous Italian towns and the steamy espresso, every sight and sound in the film feels truly authentic and impactful on the viewer. I have not seen such an effective use of reflecting on audiences' senses to create a more immersive viewing experience in a film in years. The film's score is exceptional as well. It feels authentically Italian and beautifully emotional, especially when paired with the film's script in many scenes. The writing feels both authentic and intelligent at all times, and the film doesn't even manage to let its guard down in a single scene by failing to grip the viewer with its beautiful script. A late-film monologue by Michael Stuhlbarg is a particular highlight.
As one can see from reading this review, this film is truly unforgettable and a brilliant trip to Italy. Its immersion in its setting and characters remind us of the focal point of cinema: to expose the viewer to unique settings and opportunities and to transport them to these opportunities through the language of film. Recommended to the highest degree. 10/10